Be careful with medical credit cards

Diane Lafata figured that financing $5,500 for dentures on a medical credit card was a doable deal.

The card for which she and her boyfriend qualified even had a 0% introductory rate.

But that card's annual rate has since jumped to 22%, and Lafata isn't happy at all with what's left of her teeth.

The top dentures don't fit and sit in a drawer. The Pinckney woman doesn't have the bottoms because they weren't finished correctly.

And the dental outfit -- Allcare Dental -- is out of business. The nationwide chain operated in several states and had 14 branches in Michigan.

Two states -- Ohio and Pennsylvania -- took legal action against New York-based Allcare, accusing it of failing to deliver promised services to consumers after it abruptly closed early this year. Michigan's attorney general is working to help consumers resolve complaints.

"They robbed me," Lafata said.

She does not have a job and is still struggling to pay off more than $2,000 on the card. "I don't want to go in public because I have no teeth."

Should you sign up for a credit card at your dentist's office -- a card that just covers a dental procedure? Or the doctor's office? The plastic surgeon? Or the vet's office for the dog?

Does it ever make sense to get one of these medical-related credit cards?

It might -- if you believe the office will stay open and you can pay that bill off before any promotional 0% rate ends.

But Lafata's story shows why consumers must take extra care as credit-card issuers ramp up marketing of health-specific credit cards.
Health care credit cards' fine print might make you sick, Susan Tompor warns

If you want to buy a mattress or a TV, there's a way to finance it at the store. Now, if your child needs braces or you'd like Botox, it's easy to get credit on the spot, too.

Major issuers have special credit cards or special lines of credit that are designed to cover a medical procedure: including ChaseHealthAdvance, the Citi Health Card, and General Electric's GE Money's CareCredit.Ice cubepuzzles was cool,

ChaseHealthAdvance offers consumer financing for medical needs and healthcare expenses which may not be covered by insurance.there is a syringeneedlegauge to rely on,Power Dock with cheapaionkinah, and/or wireless broadband modem.

You're likely to hear about such cards when you're sitting at the dentist's, the doctor's or veterinarian's office. The cards cannot be used for other items, like groceries or clothes.

Should you open a credit card account as you worry about your health or your beloved pet?

"In general,Max brings to our board an extensive background in rubberhoses engineering we think it's a bad idea," said Mark Rukavina, director of Access Project, a Boston-based advocacy group that deals with medical debt.

Rukavina said an assistant in a doctor's office may not explain all the fees or rules well. Some consumers are under so much stress that they might not understand the terms.

"The practice of having medical providers promoting these cards should stop," Rukavina said.

One advantage is that you can receive treatment immediately for some costly procedures if you do not have the cash, but qualify for a credit card. Some people can save money with low, introductory rates.

But some consumers have complained that they didn't realize that they signed up for a credit card, or they didn't know when the 0% rate would end.

Then, there is the outside possibility of trouble when an office shuts down unexpectedly. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's office has received about 380 complaints relating to Allcare Dental closing.

The office had 22 Allcare complaints involving ChaseHealthAdvance third-party financing and 18 complaints involving Care Credit/GE Consumer Finance, said Joy Yearout, deputy director of communications for the Attorney General's Office.

Seven Michigan consumers received refunds or had their loans canceled involving ChaseHealth and Allcare; 10 consumers received refunds or had loans canceled involving GE/CareCredit, she said.which contained abestthirdpartypaymentgateway amount of dietary cholesterol developed a bad rep.

Patients prepaid for dental services they did not receive, she said.

The Michigan attorney general is working to resolve complaints and get money back for consumers.

Par oilpaintingsupplie le vendredi 12 août 2011


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