Health insurance is not half as popular here in India as it is in the USA, where medical insurance is an intricate part of government policies. This is mostly because healthcare is largely privatized in the US, rendering it extremely costly. While it is not the case here yet, the rapidly increasing expenses for those seeking treatment are making more and more people go for crowdfunding than relying on healthcare insurance.
Here are some reasons why medical crowdfunding is better than claiming insurance on healthcare-
- Crowdfunding is much more immediate than accessing health insurance money. Medical health insurance also comes with a host of complications like sudden deductions and prolonged paperwork.
- Crowdfunding does not involve complicated policy requirements and procedures, unlike medical health insurance plans like Mediclaim. At the end of the day, it is very difficult to determine exactly what qualifies as a medical emergency for these organizations providing insurance cover.
- Crowdfunding comes without any terms and conditions. People with medical emergencies just have to build their profile in the crowdfunding websites and put it up. Then donors pay as per their convenience. Health insurance, on the other hand, is nothing but terms and conditions.
- Health insurance in India is really inaccessible to most. That is because of their unfamiliarity with government protocols, the huge gap between bureaucrats and the common people, the prevalence of fraud, and the like.
Yet, it really is very American to think that the treatment of all problems, especially the ones that affect mostly the poor, can be conducted by crowdfunding alone. There are quite a few reasons for that:
- There are simply a lot of cases to be found in the crowdfunding platforms in India. In the US, people generally go for crowdfunding for matters that are not covered by health insurance. And as of yet, while crowdfunding is popular, it is still limited to just the people with access to the internet and having awareness and empathy. The demand is simply more than the supply.
- Indians are still more comfortable getting things done the analogous way than the digital. An average pre-millennial Indian is more likely to go for traditional fundraising than creating an online crowdfunding campaign. The most common reason for this is the inability to trust online transactions. Which is valid really, considering the state of internet protection and the number of frauds.
- At the end of the day, crowdfunding is a matter of chance really. The amount of money you receive as donation depends a lot on your fundraising portfolio, the platform that you use, your ability to convince people, the amount of money you require, the extent to which your campaign receives exposure and the like. So it comes down to packaging really. A more serious or uncommon medical issue might just as well receive less exposure than some other cases. Also, emergencies have bigger success rates than cases involving prolonged treatment.
These problems are genuine. At the same time, considering the difficulty an average Indian has in accessing any government policy, crowdfunding has been found to be a more reliable friend, at least in tiding over emergencies.