Why is crowdfunding a good alternative to Cancer Treatments?

Ketto is the first peer-to-peer fundraising platform and website based in India. Although our headquarter is located in Mumbai, our social workers are spread across the country to provide much-needed support and guidance to the people.

Why is crowdfunding a good alternative to Cancer Treatments?

Cancer is among India's most pressing health problems, with over half a million deaths attributed to it every year. While multiple factors such as the lack of multi-specialty hospitals exist, the inability to arrange funds for treatment is one of the biggest reasons behind the increased mortality rates. These treatments usually cost lakhs of rupees, making it difficult for most middle-class families to afford them. 

In such a scenario, finance becomes a key differentiator. While medical insurance could be helpful, online crowdfunding can be an ideal solution for a cancer patient’s needs.  

But what is Crowdfunding? 

In recent times, crowdfunding has emerged as a viable fundraising option for most social issues. For example, let's say an insurance agent's wife is diagnosed with breast cancer and needs at least seven cycles of chemotherapy treatment to survive, with her family being able to afford 10 lakhs only. What will they do? They’ll reach out to family members, acquaintances, and friends in their network, who then come forward to help this family cover the additional treatment cost by pooling in the money. 

Medical fundraising has become quite common these days, with many online crowdfunding platforms helping people combat life-threatening diseases by financing open-heart surgeries, bone marrow transplants, and chemotherapy for them. Ketto itself hosts over 2000 medical fundraisers every month, showcasing the potential that medical crowdfunding has.

What is Health Insurance? 

Health insurance is a popular financing option that covers medical expenses up to a given limit once purchased. Of course, none of us plan to fall ill, but it is also true that a severe illness can strike anyone at any given point in time. The expenses associated with treating a condition can cause significant financial strain and dry up your savings. With the cost of medical treatment rising continuously, it is essential to plan for the future well in advance. 
With many Indians being under-insured and most public health schemes being insufficient, health insurance leaves a lot to be desired. It is here that crowdfunding comes in, bridging the gap between quality healthcare and financial resources effectively. 

What are the benefits of crowdfunding? 

In comparison to traditional methods of medical financing, crowdfunding is a lot more effective and helps families cover medical expenses quickly. In addition to this, with the emergence of online crowdfunding platforms such as Ketto, the process has become more efficient and transparent. Here are some benefits of crowdfunding one must know about.

1. It is cost-effective. 

Individuals raising funds for cancer treatments can start campaigns with a single click, reaching a large audience via these platforms. Platforms like Ketto charge a 0% platform fee and help you set up a campaign for you or your loved ones using its easy-to-understand interface. 

You can choose to raise funds for various cancer-related illnesses such as leukemia, lung cancer, or breast and throat cancer. With its team of dedicated fundraiser managers, Ketto offers unparalleled technical support throughout the user’s journey on its platform. Insurance claims often take months to be processed, whereas withdrawals from an online crowdfunding platform like Ketto will hardly take 4-5 business days to complete. 

2. It is flexible and convenient.

Insurance cover for cancer patients is entirely subjective, and age also plays a critical role, considering how often health complications increase with age. Due to this, there’s a marked difference between the amount received when you buy insurance at 30 versus when you buy it at 50. Health insurance also doesn’t cover pre-existing illnesses present in a person. 

On the other hand, crowdfunding has no such restrictions and can be a viable option for those who either don't have health insurance or cannot procure medical loans. Ketto accepts donations in multiple currencies from any part of the world, thus maximizing the reach of your fundraising campaign. 

3. Covering funds required. 

Medical insurance policies usually have a 'co-pay clause' that pays only a certain percentage of the total amount spent on medical treatment. They do not cover the entire medical cost, which can cause a lot of financial strain to people from middle-class and lower-middle-class families. 

Contrastingly, crowdfunding is an option that can help patients raise even the entire amount required for their chemotherapy. Using the dashboard feature, patients or their families can easily track the amount they’ve raised so far.
 
4. Transparent and technology-driven. 

Unlike traditional forms of financing, medical fundraising uses an online platform and technology to help people raise money. Platforms such as Ketto require beneficiaries (or their families) to submit documents such as the treatment cost estimates alongside their hospital admission letter and a discharge summary, which essentially cuts down any chances of fraud or misuse on these platforms.

5. Medical debt 

Similar to the US, medical debt has become a common phenomenon in India. Even as families' monthly income continues to dwindle, the costs associated with healthcare are on the rise. 
Besides that, India spends 1.28% of its GDP on health; public healthcare is often hard to afford.

According to a 2017 study by the Public Healthcare Foundation of India, most public healthcare schemes combine free and subsidized primary care services that often do not cover more significant treatment, leading to increased medical debt. 

India, as a result, has one of the highest proportions of out-of-pocket expenses for medical bills. In such a scenario, medical crowdfunding offers a more viable, albeit, short-term solution. 

6. It uses social media to amplify the message. 

Crowdfunding medical treatments require users to share the fundraisers on social media extensively. Every little contribution from people in your network goes a long way in making your fundraiser successful. With more than 4.48 billion social media users globally and the usage of social media platforms soaring, fundraisers have a fantastic opportunity to amplify their message and reach more people. 

Online crowdfunding platforms like Ketto and Milaap also allow users to share their campaign details on social media in just a few easy steps, thereby promptly helping people get financial assistance. 

How to find a perfect medical crowdfunding platform?

Due to COVID-19 in the last year and a half, India’s economy has taken a massive hit. In such a scenario, medical fundraising can be an effective option to arrange the necessary resources in a medical emergency. You would want to choose a medical crowdfunding platform based on how quickly you can get the desired help. Here’s how you can find the perfect medical crowdfunding platform.

1. Feature-rich and credible 

A good crowdfunding website offers users a seamless user experience, helping them set up fundraisers quickly. To do so, make a list of features you would want in a crowdfunding platform and see which one matches it the best. Platforms such as Ketto offer separate medical fundraising options, making it easy to start a fundraiser in just a few steps.
 
With 55 lakh+ donors and over 2 lakh fundraisers on its platform, it is a trusted online crowdfunding platform that can help raise funds instantly. 

2. Navigation and user experience 

Opting for a user-friendly interface that allows easy navigation is critical in choosing your ideal fundraising platform. When you're in the middle of a medical emergency, you need an application that can help you initiate a fundraising request quickly. 

Ketto is an easy-to-use crowdfunding platform that gets your campaign up and running in under 2 minutes, with easy-to-manage tools and a dashboard to track its progress. You can then receive notifications, share them on social media and withdraw funds without any hassle. 

3. Customer Support 

Since medical crowdfunding is a new concept, extensive customer support and assistance are a
must, and Ketto delivers exceptionally on this front. If a user has any query regarding the platform or the donation mode, they can quickly contact Ketto's support team and resolve their issues. 

4. Donor Flexibility 

You need to ensure that the platform you’re using provides fast and easy payments along with features like multiple payment options and currency conversion. That way, Ketto accepts donations in multiple currencies from across the globe, with additional payment methods including debit and credit cards, net banking, and UPI available on the platform. Plus, you can easily withdraw money at any point during your fundraiser. 

Endnotes 

As is evident, health insurance can be a costly service for many middle-class families in India. With the sudden nature of medical emergencies pushing many people to a point where even survival becomes difficult, crowdfunding can be an ideal alternative for funding cancer treatments.