Take Care of your Health With Credit Cards

by : Martha O'Neill



How much do you spend on insurance each year? As a matter of fact, American healthcare services are shocking high. So, it is easy to guess that you pay vast sums of money. Kaiser Family Foundation, a research firm and health policy, has developed that an average household pays almost $3,500 a year. For medical insurance alone.
If you consider insurance prescription drugs and different healthcare related services, this sum will be as much as $7,000. All these expenses has been unavoidable for those people who take care of their health.
However, credit cards change the situation today.
Paying for medical expenses with a plastic is very convenient, and you get a profit as well. Special credit cards designed for medical-related services give you an opportunity to earn rewards points, cash back and get discounts on certain services.
So, if you can use healthcare plastics wisely, you save your money. Collected points can be transferred to a health saving account, or redeemed for a variety of health products, such as blood pressure monitors, for example.
Nowadays, there are two major credit card issuers offering credit products created to help you save on medical expenses. They are Bank of America and Citibank. In fact, cards' programs offered by these banks are not much different from those on student credit cards or business cards - you use your plastic for most frequently made purchases and get rewarded.
Bank of America's Caremark Visa and Citibank's Citi Professional both come with low interest rates, so you can earn rewards at a lower cost. Profitable, isn't it?
Caremark Visa is a points-based deal for those who participate in its discount drug programs. Its holder is eligible for 2 points for each dollar spent for pharmacy outlets. A certain amount of points is redeemable through Bank of America's catalog of rewards.
Citibank offers its healthcare plastic to any type of credit consumer and gives up to 60% discount on prescriptions.
The healthcare plastics may seem to you a rather profitable and easy deal. What is the trap, however? Even small medical expenses regularly put on a plastic can accumulate into a credit card debt which is almost twice as fat as any other type of consumer debt.
Almost 50% of bankruptcy filing is due to the unmanageable debt accumulated as a result of numerous medical expenses paid for with a credit card.
According to financial advisers, you need to be a disciplined and responsible borrower who is sure of his/her ability to cover credit card bills on time each month. They also insist that you should consider making big health-related purchases with such a credit card, rather than using it for each small medical bill.
For instance you are likely to get a big discount on the purchase of an inhaler or on the healing of a leg or arm fracture.
So, healthcare credit cards will possibly not reduce your spending on medical bills, but they will be a smart tool to pay for unexpected expenses like an operation or high-value medical appliances. You can no doubt save a great deal.