What is a Wellist?
Wellist is a free-to-use online resource that connects patients and their families with personalized service recommendations in the greater Boston and Pittsburgh area. People can use Wellist to find local services, ranging from home health aides to dog walkers to oncology specific massages. There is also an optional optional gift registry (what we call the ‘Wellistry’), so that people have a meaningful and ready answer to the question “What can I do to help?” that's often asked by friends and family. Through the Wellistry, our users can create a gift registry for different services, so that friends and family can give what is most helpful--be it a gift of a clean house, or a night at a hotel near their treatment center.
We have spent months working with nurses, clinicians, and social workers from top healthcare providers, as well as patients and families, to create a directory of services to help those who are going through major life events, whether that's battling and recovering from illness or welcoming a newborn into the family. With Wellist, users can set preferences for price range or location of the services they're interested in. We provide recommendations and our users choose what’s helpful to them, whether it’s a financial assistance program to help with bills, or a hot meal on the table.
Is Wellist for me?
Yes! Wellist is for patients or their families who are looking to find practical daily support. We are completely free to use and there are no requirements for signing up.
Is my Wellist and the information I share private?
Yes, everything in your Wellist is private. Only the account holder will have access to your information or see your saved services.
The only part of your Wellist that is shareable is your Wellistry. You will be given a link to your Wellistry and only the people who you directly send that link to will have access to your Wellistry.
Where does Wellist serve?
Wellist serves families and patients in the New England and Pittsburgh area. Wellist also includes a list of nationally based services that cover the entire country for those outside of our service range.
How do I get matched with services?
When you create a Wellist, we ask you a couple of questions so that we know what types of services you’re looking for and what your preferences are. All of our recommendations are customized just for you.
What do the dollar signs mean when I look at services?
We want to make sure that you have the best and most accurate information that we can find. As prices can change depending on the season (or even the day) we thought that finding an approximate cost would be the best way to help you make a decision on which services you’d like to use.
The single dollar sign ($), indicates that something is either free or a very low cost. Two dollar signs ($$) mean that vendor is an affordable or budget option. Three ($$$) means it as an average, or slightly above average price. Four ($$$$) indicates an above average cost and five dollar signs ($$$$$) means that the service is a luxury service that is most expensive.
So how did we collect this information? For each category, we would pick a common item and then ask every vendor how much each service costs. For example, we would ask each hotel how much it would cost for two adults to stay in a room if you were to book in a month. We then learned the approximate cost, and used that information to assign each hotel a dollar sign ranking! If you have any more questions about how we matched the pricing, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-935-5478.
How does Wellist vet the services they recommend?
It is so important to us that the vendors that we list are of the highest quality and that our listings have accurate, useful information. We have a several step process that we believe is the best way to make sure that you have access to reliable services.
We begin research by making a list of all the vendors in a certain category (for example, every hotel we can find in Boston). We go online and read reviews, looking for red flags or bad experiences. If the reviews check out, we move to the next step--a phone call. One of our team members will call every single vendor that we list. We do this for two reasons. First, we confirm the basic information we found in our research (hours of operation, address, phone number). Then, we ask questions that can't be found anywhere else such as, "Are you handicapped accessible?" The other reason we call is that we like to be able to hear how each vendor treat customers on the phone. If something doesn't seem right to us, we won't include that service in our database. Every few months, we contact each listing again to make sure our information is still right!
The final way that we make sure that our vendors are vetted is through you! Once you sign up, you can leave reviews on each service in our database. This way we can continue to provide the most accurate information and work together to remove any sub-par services.
What is a Wellistry?
A Wellistry is where you can build and publish a registry of needed services to share with loved ones. You have complete control over who can see your Wellistry, what items they see, their value, and 100% of the donations go directly to you. The Wellistry also lets you know when loved ones have used yours so you can thank them for their support. Think of it as a gift registry.
How does gifting through the Wellistry work?
First, our users can set what they want their Wellistry to look like. While building a Wellistry, users can decide what kind of services they're looking for support in, the monetary value of each gift, and how many gifts they'd like to receive.
For example, one user may decide they want help with weekly acupuncture over the next 8 weeks of treatment. To fund this, they can set one gift to be the price of one acupuncture appointment and request 8 gifts. That way, the Wellistry can be shared with the support network of caring friends and family who want to make sure that our user has access to their acupuncture session.
We know that in times of challenge, priorities can change quickly. That’s why the Wellistry directly deposits gifts to users’ Paypal accounts, rather than as a gift certificate to a specific vendor. That way, if massages are a priority one week and then a big snowstorm hits and all of a sudden a lot of shoveling needs to be done, Wellistry gifts can be used to hire a snow shoveler for the driveway.
We use Paypal as our service provider as a way to ensure that gifting is a simple and secure transaction. To sign up for a PayPal account click here.
Can gifts I receive through my Wellistry affect my taxes, or impact the free or subsidized services I qualify for?
In general, individuals can make a gift up to $14,000 (for 2016) to any person annually without either party owing a tax, as it falls under annual exclusion rules. In addition, the amount may double if a donor's spouse consents to use his/her annual exclusion also. Please consult a tax professional to confirm how this may affect you.
Modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), a factor for qualification in many programs, does not include gifts and would be therefore be unaffected by them. However, qualification for subsidized programs and insurance can vary significantly, so we advise checking with your healthcare provider or service representative if you feel that gifts may affect your eligibility.