Americans are choosing plastic over paper when it comes to paying off the nearly $300 billion they rack up annually in medical charges — the leading cause of bankruptcy — every year, CNNMoney.com reported earlier this month.
The effect is customers are only sinking themselves deeper into debt as they scramble to keep themselves healthy enough to earn more money to pay off the cards:
“Out-of-pocket health care spending was already increasing in good times,” said Bruce Carlson, publisher with health care market research firm Kalorama Information. “Now with high unemployment, consumers have to reach into their pockets even more to fund their health care.”
The story goes on to say customers are also skipping out on bills altogether, rendering hospitals and doctors all the more willing to take credit card payments. Which is great for credit card companies, other than the fact that they’re customers are defaulting on their payments more often.