Connecting our Community with the Power of Health
The RESCU Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization established to promote and maintain the health and medical well-being of the participants of Renaissance Faires, historical performances, and other artistic events through financial assistance, advocacy, education, and preventative programs.
- Financial assistance from RESCU Foundation is available to all pass-holding, working participants of Renaissance festivals--current, retired, local, seasonal, and on the road show participants.
- RESCU's Financial assistance program is designed for immediate effectiveness. So, if necessary, we can even help cover estimates for medical appointments before treatment. When a client reaches out early enough, RESCU can even assist in the research process to help make informed choices of care.
- When a completed Medical Aid Request Form is received, it is typically acted upon within 30 days. For medical emergencies, we can act even faster!
- RESCU does have limitations on financial relief possibilities, but can help the client connect with other charity programs to further reduce final bills.
- When financial aid is gifted, a check is mailed to the client. In dire situations, disbursement may be made directly to the billing facility.
- For more information about how this works, please read about the RESCU Aid Process.
RESCU Advocacy can help:
- decipher confusing medical correspondence
- negotiate medical bills
- guide you to negotiate medical bills
- apply for financial assistance from hospitals or other organizations
- establish payment plans
- locate prescription assistance programs
Receive a suspicious-looking bill? Ask a RESCU Advocate to take a look! Email us at: Advocacy@RESCUfoundation.org
With RESCU, Advocacy can take many forms, but, the common factor is empowerment! We want to help you have control over the finances of your medical situation. Many clients need only some direction---we can mentor you through the learning process and you can advocate for yourself. Or, if you prefer, or there is the need, we can advocate on your behalf and let you know the outcome. Most cases involve a combination of the two. At the very least we can promise you encouraging conversations to ease the stress!
MAKE INFORMED CHOICES
Being underinsured or uninsured can be a worrisome predicament. These pointers below may help:
- Make personal choices about your medical care if possible BEFORE a situation arises. Find comfort with your choice of provider, the facility, and what that combination will cost. Will money be required "up front?' Are reductions possible or easy payment plans available? The uninsured are typically overcharged and billed at a higher rate. Self-pay discounts are frequently available.
- Hill-Burton Hospitals treat any person without regard to financial status. Is that better for you than private hospital charity programs?
- Go where you feel you will receive the best medical care. Do not let anyone discourage you from trying to apply for financial aid from a hospital.
- Many hospitals are choosing to use an outside staffing company for their Emergency Room physicians, which causes some insurance companies to charge you at an out of network rate. Ask if your insurance coverage would encounter this problem.
- Ignoring medical bills will have a devastating effect on your credit rating. Once bills go to collections, there is less likelihood of a significant positive outcome. Plan timely payments when you are aware the final bill is in hand.
BELOW ARE HELPFUL RESOURCES:
Physicians Fee Schedule
Use the 5-digit billing code on your bills to see what Medicare pays the hospitals for services performed. Knowledge of this fee can be used to help negotiate down your bill:
For a state by state listing of free clinics across the country, and to learn more on your own, visit:
Prescription Assistance and Comparisons
Education and Preventative Programs
Our Programs Committee works year round to connect our community with educational and preventative programming at festivals all over the country! This includes:
- Health Fair Days / TeleHealth Fair Days, during which we connect providers to participants for free or at reduced pricing. This includes but is not limited to: Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, Voice Coaches, Zumba, Thai Chi, and Yoga Instructors, Reiki Practitioners, STD Testing, Mental Health Professionals, and more!
- First Aid Kit Giveaways, because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Here's to taking care of minor injuries before they become a major medical bill! Huzzah!
- Dr. George AED Unit Program. Our AED Ambassadors transport our 3 AED Units around the country to various faires so that all participants have access to an AED if there is ever a need. This program was inspired and started by our beloved friend and colleague, Dr. George, at Bristol Renaissance Faire many years ago. This program continues to grow as we add more AED Ambassadors, more featured festivals, and more AED Units and cabinets for storage.
- CPR/First Aid Training, because having more renaissance festival participants trained in potentially life saving measures strengthens the community for us all!
- Mental Health First Aid Trainings. We help connect participants with these incredibly important trainings available all over the country! Being able to recognize when someone is experiencing a mental health crisis and having the confidence to step in and help is something that more and more individuals in our community are comfortable with every year thanks to these trainings.
- Mental Health Programming, including our weekly #MentalHealthMonday social media campaigns and online offerings with mental health professionals such as our Grief and Trauma Peer Support Group, Hypnosis Series on Resilience, and Stress and Anxiety Peer Support Group. We are working to bring more mental health resources to the community and to end the stigma around this vital topic!
Additional Resources Outside RESCU
The Actor’s Fund helps with financial assistance for working actors in crisis. Can assist with basic living expenses and medical expenses.
Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation hosts an up-to-date, comprehensive and unbiased database of health care resources for artists, performers, freelancers and the self-employed. This web site has a state by state listing of all community, private, state and local health resources. It also has links to prescription assistance, hospitals, mental health, legal assistance, and much more in your state.
Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) provides assistance to help sustain a craft artist’s career when an emergency occurs.
COBRA is insurance for the recently employed, now unemployed.
Dial 211. While services that are offered through 211 vary from community to community, 211 provides information about, and referrals to, human services for every day needs and in times of crisis. 211 is available in 41 states across the country. (must be dialed from a landline phone or a payphone.) Even while you travel from state to state and need help, you can turn to 211. This service can link you to help lines for rent & utility assistance, food banks, clothing closets, shelters, medical information lines, crisis intervention services, counseling, drug and alcohol intervention/rehab, support for persons with disabilities, after school programs, mentoring, tutoring, protective services and a wealth of additional support agencies.
Hill-Burton Obligated Facilities by State and City requires that obligated facilities provide free or low-cost health care services to people living in the facility's area who cannot afford to pay for the services. This site lists all Hill-Burton facilities nationwide.
United Way provides assistance for recovery from any disaster. (See "Dial 211")
Pan Foundation offers assistance for threatening, chronic, and rare diseases.
Healthwell Foundation helps locate financial assistance for chronic and life-altering illnesses.
AlcoholHelp.com teaches about alcohol abuse and the various types of treatment available, connecting individuals to compassionate and professional care.
Aging With Dignity is a national non-profit organization with a mission to affirm and safeguard the human dignity of individuals as they age and to promote better care for those near the end of life.
RCEAF, newly formed in 2020, in direct response to the CoVid-19 Pandemic and its effect on the Renaissance Festival community, RCEAF is able to help with emergency financial needs outside the realm of medical expenses.
The RESCU Foundation is very dedicated to its mandated mission. Unfortunately, in order for us to stay true to its design and intentions, there are some things that are simply outside our purview. And, there are other things we simply do not have the funding to guarantee. Thank you for your understanding.
- RESCU strongly adheres to HIPAA guidelines regarding confidentiality. Written authorization must be obtained in order for anyone other than the client themselves to discuss a case with RESCU personnel.
- RESCU will happily help connect our clients with appropriate care alternatives in their area. We do not recommend one single medical provider over another.
- RESCU will offer whatever financial disbursement its Medical Aid Panel deems appropriate to both the circumstances and RESCU’s ability. This means that financial disbursement is not guaranteed, and that full amounts of medical bills cannot be covered.
- RESCU does not act as medical insurance coverage. It is merely financial relief for medical debt. The opening of a RESCU Medical Aid Case, does not imply any responsibility for a client’s bills. The obligation to pay still belongs to the client. We are just there to help.
- RESCU can not consider rent, booth fees, utility bills or anything not medically related, or related directly to a medical situation.
- RESCU cannot achieve as much success without your responsive communication.
- RESCU Advocacy will work hard for a client, but cannot guarantee the favorable outcome of negotiations.