Uninsured? New Service Lets You Pay Off Medical Bills Without Interest

A reader pointed us to a recent article in the WSJ abut CarePayment, a new financing option that provides a way for the uninsured to pay off their hospital bills in monthly installments, without incurring interest rate charges or finance fees.

The card provides APR-free financing for up to 36 months; there is a $25 fee for missed payments, according to the customer service rep we spoke with, but never an interest rate. Minimum monthly payments are $25 or 4% of your bill, whichever is higher.

CarePayment is provided through arrangements with hospitals, so you can’t go out and apply for the card yourself. Usually a participating hospital will offer it to you automatically if they feel you will have trouble paying off your bill. Otherwise, you can contact your hospital’s billing department and ask them whether they offer it. If your hospital doesn’t offer it, you might want to ask them to look into it, as it’s a good way for them to recoup money from the patients least likely to be able to otherwise pay their bills.

“Hospital Charge Card: Don’t Leave the Ward Without It” [Wall Street Journal Health Blog]
(Photo: Getty)

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  1. du2vye says:

    My dentist offered me one called CareCredit which was interest free for 12 months.

  2. Scuba Steve says:

    Wait, 4% over 36 months? Shouldn’t that be over 25 months?

    Or is 144% “No interest”?

  3. Dustbunny says:

    Somebody be sure and tell that homeless guy who owes a gajillion $$$$ for his surgery about this.

  4. timmus says:

    If you invent a name and SSN when checking in, would you still need this service?

  5. Granolaheadesq says:

    Why would you bother paying interest on a hospital bill to begin with? What hospital doesn’t offer payment plans, and what hospital includes interest on those payment plans? I know from experience that a $900 emergency room bill was knocked down to $650 for “payment assistance”, then put on a 10 month/$65 per payment plan. Why pay interest, and more to the point, why add another debt to your credit report when it can stay a personal, unsecured, interest-free contract?

  6. lizzybee says:

    @Scuba Steve: No, 4% of the bill total is the minimum monthly payment over 36 months. There is no interest rate mentioned.

  7. allstarecho says:

    Does this report to credit bureaus? I doubt it. But you better be damn sure they will report to credit bureaus if you don’t pay the bill.

  8. Anonymous says:

    CarePayment isn’t that much help for low income individuals as myself. It was offered to me at the hospital but the 4% comes to $180/month and I can’t afford that either. I have medical debt from other places besides the hospital and between them all I can’t pay out that much. I only make around $9000/year.