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Credit Card eZine - News and Articles about Credit Cards

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Medical Credit Card deals – an option to wait for

2007-08-21

Credit card companies have spawned so many products that are affiliated with other industries that it seems that they are becoming an essential tool of our lives. And it's true! There are now credit cards for gamers, frequent shoppers, travelers, car enthusiasts and many more. However, up until recently, one industry has managed to stay out of it. It's the medical industry that had no direct connections with credit cards whatsoever. But with the way things are going now, this is about to change.

The reason for which medical institutions have teamed up with credit card issuers is simple - hospitals are getting tired of collecting payments from troublesome patients and to resolve disputes in emergency cases when a customer is unable to pay in advance.

There have already been cases when hospitals refused to treat patients due to lack of health insurance, lack of funds or even both. However, such cases often led to court hearings that not always ended well for the hospitals. To solve such issues, healthcare providers are now offering a form of credit to fund all sorts of treatment.

Medical credit cards can be used anywhere in the medical and pharmaceutical industry. Whether it's a hospital, casualty department, pharmacy or dentist's office - your medical credit card will not be turned down. Moreover, such cards feature low monthly payments and often have no-interest option for customers who are able to pay higher monthly payments. However, like any credit cards, medical ones also feature annual default rates of 20 percent and more.

Furthermore, the list of possible features of a medical credit card isn't limited to payments. A trial card has been introduced in Europe that also hold's patients' medical records. The information is encoded on a strip and is able to hold 12 pages of text, such as patient's personal information, surgery history, prescriptions, etc.

Nonetheless, many experts say that such cards will only add up to the snowballing debt that certain patients already have on their regular credit cards. With the introduction of a card, many patients may end up paying more even for the smallest treatments due to interest and finance charges. Experts also note that there is a great amount of benefit awaiting health providers who switch to credit card processing. It went so far, that some medical institutions are now asking for credit card number prior to providing treatment.

Besides, certain analysts comment that with the introduction of medical credit cards, patients haven't really gained anything from it. The medical debt has simply switched to credit card debt, but at a higher cost. Paying interest on the surgery you had a couple of years ago does not appeal to customers. Moreover, medical credit cards encourage unnecessary purchases such as beauty treatments and spas.

However, the future expansion of medical credit card deals is under question. With the medical reform that has been planned in the next president's campaign in 2008, analysts refrain from making any predictions. The medical reform has been a sore topic for many Americans. There is so much uncertainty around it that many credit card companies prefer to stay away from it for now.

In addition, there are a few alternatives to medical credit cards. First of all, you may consider health insurance as a way of paying for treatments. Secondly, institutions that haven't yet switched to accepting plastic allow you to pay your medical bill in installments. The amount of each installment is a subject to agreement.

To sum it up, the credit card companies have been penetrating all sorts of other areas. Some people find them useful and convenient while others are not that keen on the subject. It all depends on your lifestyle and other options available to you. However, certain circumstances require you to make fast and effective decisions, especially when it comes to dealing with someone's well-being.

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[Sunday, December 18, 2011]
Chase Bank recently announced the redesign of its Visa credit cards - allowing more space on the front for the Chase logo. This new design is in trial mode currently but Visa has pans to roll out its new design to other financial institutions in order to increase the branding and logo visibility of the individual issuing banks.
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[Friday, October 28, 2011]
Debit and credit: they`re both plastic, why not consolidate them? The Cinncinati-based Fifth Third Bank, is the first to offer the DuoMasterCard which consolidates both a checking and a credit card account into one card.
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[Wednesday, September 21, 2011]
It really pays when you do the right thing. Take credit cards for instance, having a clean credit profile really does help. Those who managed to maintain a squeaky clean credit report during the recession can now jump with joy, as they will get some of the best deals from credit card issuers.
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