Health insurance is getting messier than ever.
We trust our doctor or dentist. If they say we should get something done, we usually take the advice.
Lots of procedures are not covered, or fully covered, by insurance. These days, who has extra cash laying around to pay the difference?
The answer: medical credit cards, or other financing.
As with other financing, it insures the provider, the dentist or doctor, gets paid, and you get the work done.
As with other financing, it adds to your debt and may push you over the edge to bankruptcy.
IS IT FAIR FOR YOUR DOCTOR’S OFFICE TO RECOMMEND FINANCING?
Your relationship with your doctor or dentist is quite likely different from any relationship you may have with a car salesman.
We are more susceptible to suggestions from a trusted medical care provider to borrow money, than from a car or appliance salesperson, and we regard taking care of our health as more important than the vehicle we drive or the TV we watch.
While medical credit cards resemble other credit cards, there is a critical difference: they are usually marketed by caregivers to patients, often at vulnerable times, such as when those patients are in pain or when their providers have recommended care they cannot readily afford. In addition to G.E., large banks like Wells Fargo and Citibank, as well as several specialized financial services companies, offer credit through practitioners’ offices. (New York Times)
Who Is Doing The Borrowing For Medical Treatments?
This is especially true of senior citizens, which I am uncomfortably close to becoming, because
The (medical financing) industry’s growth is being driven by people seeking dental care and devices like hearing aids, which are not covered by Medicare. (from the same N.Y. Times story)
And, older folks tend to make less money, and, the ones financing medical treatment don’t have the savings to pay for their care out of pocket.
Analyze financing medical care as you would any other purchase: do you really need it, now? Can you afford it?