Keep your hands from medical credit cards!
Since I didn’t know about these until a few days ago I figure a lot of people still don’t. Or at least don’t know what the deal with them really is. This is from an email I got from Americans for Financial Reform.
Wall Street has found a new way to prey on consumers: medical credit cards. Medical credit cards were once used mainly to pay for procedures that weren’t covered by insurance, such as dental work, cosmetic surgery, and fertility treatments. Now, their use has expanded to pay for things like basic primary treatment and emergency room care.
Companies market these cards to healthcare providers as a payment alternative for patients who don’t have the cash. Even when medical care may be covered by insurance or a financial assistance program, these predatory cards are pushed onto patients, often without full explanation of the terms and conditions.
One exploitative tactic: offering a deferred interest period between six to eighteen months. If a person has a remaining balance on the card once that deferred interest period is over, they will then be charged for all the interest that would have accrued from their original purchase date, leading to an increase in payments by as much as 25%.
The CFPB, among others, is looking into this, and has plenty of information. Also, at the bottom, is an option for reporting bad experiences.
Sometimes I still wonder what’s going on psychologically with people who seem to have no problem with doing things like targeting desperately ill people with grossly exploitative gouging. I don’t believe that they just literally have no consciences at all, because I don’t know, and never have known, anyone who is really like that. But when people’s own paychecks – that they need in order to support their families – depend on them doing unethical things, motivated reasoning kicks in. They convince themselves that it’s all for the best, and therefore it’s all “justified” and then largely forgotten about, I suppose. I can’t claim to be perfect, myself.
The #1 problem with properly dealing with Big Finance is that we just don’t have the progressive numbers in office, yet. But #2, in my estimation, is that while so much of what Big Finance greedheads do is entirely shameless and despicable and needs to be crushed (and proper payback extracted), other elements of it are necessary to the functioning of modern economies. In fact plenty of people who spend their careers in Big Finance do some things that fit the first of those descriptions, and some the second, pretty much every damn day. Which makes it complicated. But it can be figured out.
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