The New York attorney general has joined the chorus of regulators warning patients against high-pressure pitches from companies that offer medical credit cards and loans.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Thursday issued a consumer alert about the risks associated with these forms of healthcare financing. As patients increasingly are required to pay more of their medical expenses upfront—thanks to higher deductibles, copayments and co-insurance—medical credit programs offer easy access to cash but can carry high interest rates and fees.
Another issue is that these programs often are offered directly by the healthcare provider rather than the company imposing the terms and conditions, making it less likely patients will scrutinize the terms of the arrangement. Last month, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) asked the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to investigate and possibly take action against entities offering financing options to patients.