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Anderson Atkins DDS Blog

Medical expenses are one of the largest monthly budget items for most people. Many patients facing health issues have had to pay out of pocket for unexpected health expenses as their insurance providers refuse to cover certain treatments or conditions. This can lead to unnecessary financial strain as patients are left with few payment options when it comes to their medical expenses. Luckily, Care Credit was created as a more accessible option for covering medical expenses and can better equip patients to confront the challenge of unexpected health expenses.

What Is Care Credit?

Care Credit was started in 1987 by Ralph Stern, who owned a company that made dental implants. There was a big market for this technology, but unfortunately, potential clients had no way to pay for their implants and get the care they needed. This led to the creation of DenCharge, "a private label credit card – similar to the kind that stores offer - that could be used for dental care." Once implemented, the system was a huge success, as it afforded patients a more simplistic and affordable way to pay for medical expenses. The business expanded to different medical practices, and eventually, DenCharge became Care Credit.

Today, the Care Credit credit card is accepted at more than 200,000 enrolled provider and health-focused retail locations and is being used by over 10 million cardholders for emergency expenses as well as providers at places like Rite Aid and LensCrafters. Cardholders are even using their card for copayments, deductibles, and prescriptions as out-of-pocket costs continue to rise.

Obtaining a Care Credit card is easy - all you need to do is complete an online application at https://www.carecredit.com/apply or over the phone at 1-800-677-0718.

You must be 18+ to apply online or 21+ to apply over the phone. Approval is based on the information you provide on your credit application and the information provided by Care Credit’s credit reporters. Once you complete your application, you can find out immediately if you have been approved by using Care Credit’s easy, automated system. Approval rates for these cards are high.

Why Care Credit Is A Better Option

Care Credit can be a better option for patients as it helps you pay for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by medical insurance by extending special financing options. Offered at hundreds of thousands of doctors and veterinary offices across the country, the medical credit cards are designed to spread out medical bills that you can’t afford to pay off all at once. Typically used for services that aren’t often covered by insurance (such as dental, cosmetic, or chiropractic work), medical credit cards can also be used for things like primary care or healthcare specialists if your provider accepts them. This means that patients have the ability to get any necessary care and pay off their bill a little at a time.

What Features Does A Care Credit Card Offer?

To ease accessibility and make paying for medical expenses even simpler, Care Credit offers a variety of helpful features and resources for patients to use.

Mobile App: The Care Credit Mobile app provides users with access to their digital card and allows them to pay their bills, find enrolled providers, and set alerts to pay provider invoices.

Payment Calculator: To help users plan for potential costs, Care Credit offers a payment calculator to help gauge what their monthly payments will be. Users simply input their bill cost and the calculator will give them an estimate of what they would need to pay based on a promotional period of 6, 12, 18, or 24 months. Interest will be charged to the account from the purchase date if the promotional purchase is not paid in full within the promotional period.

Location Options: Care Credit makes it easy to find enrolled providers through their app and online website. A user simply needs to input the name, city/zip, and profession of the provider and Care Credit will inform them if that provider is enrolled within the Care Credit system.

Financing Options: Care Credit offers two financing options. The first is a promotional period during which no interest is charged provided the bill is paid in full by the end of the pay period, and the second is reduced APR and fixed monthly payments until the bill is paid in full.

The Bottom Line

For many, paying medical bills can be a burdensome and significant challenge. There is no guarantee that insurance will cover certain medical costs which can lead to worry and uncertainty. Care Credit can help ease that uncertainty by providing a way to make medical expenses more manageable. For more information about how Anderson & Atkins, DDS can provide you with exceptional and affordable dental services in the Bryan/College Station area with Care Credit, or if you have any questions about our practice, please feel free to contact our office at (979) 846-1813 or email us at info@craigandersondds.com.

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