Sunday, August 8, 2010

Legal and moral questions about medical credit cards

Medical credit cards are facing an investigation by the New York state attorney general. These cards, which generally have very high rates, are sold to patients that need money now, generally right within the doctor’s office. These cards, which offer an instant cash advance to pay off medical bills, are often marketed with allegedly deceptive practices.

How medical credit cards work

Medical credit cards are a product offered by a few financing companies. They are used to pay off medical bills, and they come with high interest rates. The doctor or dentist will get their money easily, and the credit card business gives them additional cash based on how much is charged on the card.

The investigation into medical credit card practices

Medical credit cards seem like an easy answer for patients in a bind. The New York Attorney General, though, is beginning an investigation into these cards because of alleged deceptive practices. Many of the time, patients aren’t given full details on the high interest rates in these cards. The Attorney General has stated that the investigation is into the deceptive marketing and kickbacks involved with these cards. Some doctors could be violating their ethical or lawful responsibilities by pushing financial products.

The incredible costs of medical care

Numerous of the cost-reduction methods in the new health care have not yet taken effect. Health care debt is the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States. The credit card marketing for these products are set up in a way that they’re intended to be a no credit loan product that will pay the bills. In the end, though, they end up charging very high interest rates and fees that compound the problem. Until the high cost of medical care is addressed, paying for care can be a concern, with or without these medical credit cards.

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