Every furniture store lures new customers with big advertisements of “One year same as cash!” and “No payments until 2016!” These tactics may work great for stores selling furniture, electronics, or hot tubs, but is this really how you want to finance an important medical procedure?
How traditional patient financing is like retail store financing
With popular retail financing options, the store’s goal is to make shoppers commit to purchase something by showing them that they won’t have to make any payments or incur any interest for a long time. This is an effective strategy, but lost in the fine print are many ways that customers can end up paying a lot more than they expected to.
Most retail financing options actually incur interest charges from the date of purchase, but customers can have those charges waived if they pay their entire balance in full before the promotional financing runs out. Of course, the institutions offering these financing options know that many customers will ultimately end up paying interest on their charges, otherwise these companies would not be in business and these offers would not be as popular as they are.
Furthermore, retail financing options tend to offer very uncompetitive interest rates compared to other types of consumer loans. They can do this because they know that customers will dismiss the possibility that they will ever pay interest by focusing on the “same as cash” promise.
In fact, there are very few differences between this type of retail purchase financing and most traditional patient financing options. Most patient financing options will have the same high interest rates, and nearly identical interest free promises. Yet these promises are really just high-stakes wagers that you will be able to pay off the entire balance before a certain date.
Those who don’t will owe interest on their balance from the date of purchase, which can add up to hundreds of dollars, just for being a few days late or a few dollars short.
How patient’s financing needs are different
First, patients don’t need to walk out the door with a new big-screen television or dining room table. When patients successfully obtain financing, their goal is to schedule their procedure that day, usually for at least a week in advance.
Furthermore, undergoing a medical procedure is a more important decision than buying luxury goods, and it is often more expensive as well. Patients should be taking the time to investigate their options and choose the plan that makes the most sense for their needs. Inevitably, this means scrutinizing the fine print and learning the downsides of traditional patient financing terms.
How the Advance Care Card is different
With the Advance Care Card, patients still receive instant approval, so they can schedule their procedure immediately. In addition, this card offers true 0% APR financing, not a high interest rate that may or may not be waived in the future. The standard interest rate is competitive, and will only begin to apply once the promotional financing period ends.
Financing an elective medical or dental procedure is not the same buying a new couch, and you shouldn’t settle for the same costly financing options.Leave a reply →