Patients paying medical bills with credit cards

A new survey has found that low- and middle-income patients who can't afford to pay their medical bills are increasingly using credit cards to make up the difference. The survey conducted by Access Project, found that patients are using their credit cards more often because their employers are cutting back on their coverage. According to the Boston Globe, some doctors and hospitals are working with financial service companies to bring credit cards to patients, shifting the debt-collecting responsibility from the provider to the credit card company. This is adding to patients' medical bill problems, as some who can't pay their bills are facing interest charges of 20 percent annually. "The healthcare safety net is made of plastic--it's called 'credit cards' for many people," Mark Rukavina, director of Access Project, told the Boston Globe. "It's a pretty frightening prospect."

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