Medical Credit Card Marketers Are Trying More Ways to Reach You

Medical credit card promotions can now be found at physician offices, diagnostic centers and hospital websites, group says.

A stack of medical bills with a credit card sticking out of them.
(Image credit: DNY59, Getty Images)

The marketing of medical credit cards – which were once offered mostly by health care providers to patients who had little or no coverage – is expanding into more health care sectors, adding to medical debt for patients and, in some cases, even contributing to bankruptcies, according to a new report.

“This relatively new version of a credit card, marketed specifically for health care services and products, usually lures in applicants with promises of a promotional 0% APR for an introductory period of 6-18 months,” the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) said in its response to a government request for information (RFI) on medical payment products. But more complex terms of the financial agreements are not always evident to applicants, and high interest rates and late fees can add to costs, the group said.

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Joey Solitro

Joey Solitro is a freelance financial journalist at Kiplinger with more than a decade of experience. A longtime equity analyst, Joey has covered a range of industries for media outlets including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Market Realist, and TipRanks. Joey holds a bachelor's degree in business administration.