Photo of an emergency room.
Health care cash cards are not always the way to go. CC by Thierry Geoffroy/Wikimedia Commons

The New York state attorney general has launched an investigation into credit cards for medical purposes. Credit cards with a very high rate are marketed to patients that are in the office and need money now. These medical credit cards offer an instant cash advance to patients who need help.

The workings of medical credit cards

A few financing companies specialize in medical credit cards. The card is intended to pay off medical bills, but uses a very high interest rate for the financing. The doctor or dentist will get their money quickly, and the credit card company gives them extra money based on how much is charged on the card.

Investigating medical credit cards

Medical credit cards seem like an easy answer for patients in a bind. Alleged deceptive practices have led to an investigation into these cards by the New York Attorney General. Most of the time, patients aren’t given full information on the high interest rates in these cards. According to the attorney general, the investigation will also include the kickbacks. Some doctors might be violating their ethical or legal responsibilities by pushing financial products.

Medical care’s high cost

The provisions of the new health care do address the cost of health care, but many changes have yet to happen. The leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States is medical cost. These medical credit cards are marketed to consumers as a way to get a no credit loan to pay bills. The end result is that the high interest rates compound the debt problem. Until medical care is not longer so expensive it sends people into bankruptcy, the concerns that led to these medical credit cards will still exist.

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