• Quote of the day: An alliance between health providers and the finance industry

    In dentists’ and doctors’ offices, hearing aid centers and pain clinics, American health care is forging a lucrative alliance with American finance. A growing number of health care professionals are urging patients to pay for treatment not covered by their insurance plans with credit cards and lines of credit that can be arranged quickly in the provider’s office. The cards and loans, which were first marketed about a decade ago for cosmetic surgery and other elective procedures, are now proliferating among older Americans, who often face large out-of-pocket expenses for basic care that is not covered by Medicare or private insurance.

    Jessica Silver-Greenberg, NY Times

    @afrakt

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    • Frakt doesn’t include the rest of the story, which is that most of the lenders are rapacious, charging very high interest rates, or low teaser rates that suddenly become very high rates if a payment is late. The focus of the article is seniors, but the real catastrophe is for people of any age with chronic illnesses (I consider old age a chronic illness because, contrary to what many seem to believe, there is no cure for it) with high deductibles and co-pays and non-covered services that are subject to no cap. Combine high cost medical care, insurance that has high deductibles, co-pays, and non-existent caps, and rapacious lenders, and it’s another economic disaster for the lower and middle class.

    • “are now proliferating among older Americans, who often face large out-of-pocket expenses for basic care that is not covered by Medicare or private insurance.”

      If that is the case then the over emphasized success of Medicare claimed by many is false and the use of Medicare as a plan for all citizens is erroneous.

    • Not a healthy combination of industries if you ask me. Taking advantage of someone who is sick and doesn’t have a lot of options is just horrible.

    • missing so far is the economic incentive for health care professionals to promote credit card payments

      • The economic incentive for the use of credit cards in the medical industry is the same as it is for any other industry such as grocery stores. Factoring is also well known in the medical industry.