Banking Industry Says Medical Credit Cards Offer Patients Options

Advocate Andy

Banking trade group says use of payment cards should not be restricted

An advocacy group representing the banking industry says federal regulators should tread lightly when it comes to regulation of medical credit cards.

The Bank Policy Institute sent a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) highlighting what it says are the benefits to patients of using medical credit cards to finance the cost of healthcare.

The letter was sent in response to indications the CFPB may take action to limit or restrict use of these financing options for healthcare purposes.

In their letter, the industry group said:

“Having different options to pay for medical care, each with different terms and features, provides consumers with the ability to select a payment product that best suits his or her individual needs and finances.”

The group says that while high healthcare costs are a concern, limiting payment options will not address that problem. Instead, the group said policymakers in Congress should take action to deal with the underlying issues behind rising costs of medical care.

The CFPB says it is seeking to understand how these credit products impact patients:

“Financial firms are partnering with health care players to push products that can drive patients deep into debt,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “We are opening a public inquiry to better understand how these practices are affecting patients in our country.”

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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