People have taken to crowdfunding sites, like GoFundMe, for various reasons. Some individuals have been faced with great tragedy and need financial help. Others are looking for funding for their business. Now, individuals have been asking for cancer care crowdfunding. However, most of them aren’t getting the financial help they need.
How Much Cancer Care Costs
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. It is estimated that there are about 1.7 million new cases each year with 15 million Americans currently living with some form of the disease. Not only does cancer take a huge toll on patients and families emotionally, but it can also have a large impact on the patient’s finances.
Costs associated with cancer care are estimated to be around $4 million out-of-pocket for treatment (2014). During that year, somewhere in the ballpark of $87.8 billion was spent on cancer-related health care in the country. Cancer patients, their families, employers, insurance companies, and programs (Medicare and Medicaid) funded these treatments in most cases. Now, many cancer patients are turning to friends (or complete strangers) to help fund their treatment.
Cancer Care Crowdfunding
That’s right – many patients have turned to sites like GoFundMe to help fund their cancer treatment. Even though they are looking for cancer care crowdfunding, cancer patients are only raising about 25% of their overall goal.
Fundraisers to help with medical costs make up about one-third of GoFundMe’s campaigns. Usually, they raise more money than any other category on the crowdfunding site.
Researchers looked at 1,000 GoFundMe pages last year. Among the items patients needed most help with, they cited co-pays, out-of-pocket drug costs, and other medical travel expenses. Most had a goal of raising $20,000 but only raised approximately $5,000 when all was said and done.
Uninsured (or underinsured) individuals typically sought less money but also received less (just 19% of their goal). “Although the Affordable Care Act reduced the uninsured rate, cost containment measures have not been realized by all patients,” the study stated.
What Can Be Done?
Cancer care crowdfunding is a relatively new idea, but it is something that can (and has) helped some patients and their families. Arthur Caplan, founding head of the division of bioethics at NYU, said that there is another way to avoid so much money going into treatment and crowdfunding for care.
“Sadly, I think part of the reason we see so much money here is that people do want to help, but we’re operating in a kind of culture where people aren’t listening to what the experts are telling them,” he said. Meaning, many people are still engaging in activity that is known to be cancerous, not getting regular checkups, and not following the doctor’s recommendations.
If you’re one of those people, you may want to reconsider your approach. Not only could it save you a ton of money, but it could very well save your life.
Readers, what do you think about cancer care crowdfunding?