Disadvantage of using credit cards to pay for COVID-19 doctor bills

Insurers are waiving out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 diagnostic tests, and some are also waiving testing-related visitation costs. It is imperative that you check with your insurance company and keep up to date with state-to-federal changes to learn the exact tests or services that are being waived and for what period. However, you could still incur significant medical bills if you need treatment for COVID-19. So stay tuned for the health policy making regarding COVID-19 expenses as these are evolving rapidly.

In this age, many people pay for the majority of their purchases with their credit card. Some also do this with their medical bills. But the question is: is it wise to use your credit card to pay for your medical bills for COVID-19? It depends. Below are points to help you decide whether or not you should use your credit card to pay for your medical bills.

Benefits of using your credit cards to pay medical bills

  • Acceptance: Credit cards are widely accepted and will suffice whenever a service provider does not accept checks. It’s also a great option in situations where you can’t write a check or pay for a procedure with cash.

  • Convenience: Credit cards are very easy to get if you meet your credit requirements. It’s so simple, you can get one almost immediately after applying.

  • Interest Rates: Credit cards sometimes offer a low-interest or no-interest promotional period. It gets even better if you use one with a 0% APR; This means that your interest will not accrue until the APR period is over.

  • Rewards and Perks: You may receive rewards from your credit card provider when you use cards to settle bills.

  • Develop positive payment behavior: Your credit card can help you develop positive payment behavior if you make your payments on time.

Disadvantages of using credit cards to settle medical bills

  • Insurance: Make sure you know exactly what your insurance covers as it can be a hassle and take a long time to get your money back after paying with your credit card. There is a high possibility that insurance coverage related to COVID-19 treatments could change as it is a new health issue.

  • Bad Credit: You can damage your credit score if you are more than thirty (30) days late on a credit card payment and your provider reports the late payment to the bureau. Fortunately, healthcare providers can’t report your late payments for at least six months; This gives you more time to protect your credit.

  • Increased Debt: Many medical debts do not bear interest. However, if you have a balance on your card and you don’t have a 0% interest rate, you can earn interest if you use your card to pay medical bills.

Additional steps when paying medical bills

  • Know Your Payment Options: Don’t wait until an emergency arises before knowing your payment options, as emergencies are not the best time to make wise money decisions.

  • Check your medical bills: Your bills could be riddled with errors. So always check that you’re not paying for mistakes or duplicate bills.

  • Confirm insurance coverage: Make sure your insurance covers what it’s supposed to. This may require a few phone calls to your insurer if your policy booklet is unclear.

  • Negotiate your bill: You can negotiate anything, including health care. You can try to negotiate a reduced balance with your healthcare provider using average cost estimators from your insurer or online resources. However, remember that every situation is unique and yours may be more complex.

  • Bill Payment Plans: Chances are your healthcare provider is open to a workable payment plan. Maybe you can only pay X at this point, but you can pay more in 60 days. Ask your provider to consider your circumstances, and remember that your doctor or medical facility also runs a business.

  • Get Home Equity Line Of Credit: If you own a home, you can get a medical loan with reasonable interest rates. However, you could lose your home if you don’t pay it back, so you should try to get a loan from family members or friends.

  • Filing for bankruptcy: While this may seem extreme, you may want to consider it if other options prove unsuccessful and your debt ceiling is so high that you need a fresh start.

Using your credit card to pay for your medical bills, including coronavirus treatment, can be a quick fix, but it can have additional long-lasting negative consequences. Evaluate your situation and all available options.