When you are looking to finance an elective medical procedure, you have the advantage of being able to take some time to compare various patient financing options. Certainly, there are many companies that offer some sort of patient financing, but there are some key differences that every patient should be aware of.
Here are some of the most important factors to consider when selecting a patient financing option:
“Same as cash” financing or true 0% APR financing
There are two types of promotional financing plans that are typically offered to patients. Many financing programs advertise so-called “same as cash” financing, which is different than true 0% APR financing. With “same as cash” financing programs, interest begins to accrue on the balance from the day of the transaction. In the even that the cardholder is unable to pay off his or her entire balance before the financing period ends, than the charges are waived. Otherwise, cardholders are billed for all of the interest dating back to the medical procedure, including any portions of the balance that have already been paid for.
On the other hand, programs that offer true 0% APR financing, such as the Advance Care Card, do not begin incurring interest charges until after the promotional period concludes. Under no circumstances is the cardholder responsible for any interest charges accrued during the true 0% APR promotional financing period.
The standard interest rate
With many traditional patient financing options, the standard interest rate is in the 20% – 30% range. This means that cardholders will be responsible for interest charges at that rate, on their daily balance, if they fail to pay off their entire balance in full before their promotional financing period expires.
Alternatively, the Advance Care Card offers a more competitive interest rate as low as 10.99% for the most qualified buyers. Furthermore, cardholders will never be incurring interest charges during the promotional financing period, even if they are unable to pay off their entire balance before it ends.
Penalty interest rate
Some traditional patient financing programs seize on customer’s misfortune by imposing a much higher interest rate if they fail to make a payment on-time. In contrast, customers of the Advance Care Card will have their first late payment waived automatically each year, and there is never any penalty interest rate applied.
There are no application fees or annual fees for the Advance Care Card.
Advance Care cardholders always have 24 hour access to US based customer service representatives. Other programs rely on outsourced call centers that may not be available at all times.
Length of promotional financing period
The Advance Care Card offers most applicants 14 months of true interest free financing, although some less qualified applicants will receive six months. Other traditional patient financing options may offer longer promotional financing options, but this can be a double-edged sword. Since traditional patient financing programs impose interest charges from the date of the transaction, those who opt for a longer promotional financing period will owe even more money in interest charges in the event that they are unable to pay off their entire balance in full before their financing offer ends.
By taking into account all of these key factors, you can choose the best product for your patient financing needs.