Saturday, July 11, 2009

Medical credit cards or medical debt?

More consumers are charging their medical bills on their credit cards. Good idea or bad? According to CNN/,
Consumer advocates warn that this is a dangerous trend, but industry watchers see a multi-billion dollar opportunity for lenders to offer specialized "medical" credit cards..."Now with high unemployment, consumers have to reach into their pockets even more to fund their health care."
Read the CNN story here. We spend $294 billion on annual out-of-pocket medical costs. McKinsey Consulting expects that $150 billion worth of health care expenses will go on credit cards by 2015. As more moderate-to-low income consumers pay their bills with plastic, they may dig themselves deeper into debt during this economic recession. Then what? Hopefully more medical providers will be willing to provide economic-hardship discounts to patients who are truly in financially in need. Clinics offering free medical services may get bombarded and they may need additional volunteers and other helpers. If you're a medical professional, are you willing to volunteer and/or offer discounts for your healthcare services?

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