Almost half of respondents would more likely choose a
medical practice if it provided options to avoid medical debt
Four in 10 Floridians are delaying medical procedures due to affordability and high deductibles, and many would prefer to use health care providers who offered ways to avoid crippling medical debt, according to a new statewide survey* released by innovative fintech company Care Cap Plus.
“As a medical professional, I find these survey results very disturbing,” said Dr. Jonathan Weiser, a reconstructive surgeon based out of Hollywood, Florida. “Delaying preventive or necessary health care could lead to more serious health concerns and higher costs. Early diagnosis is key to preventing breast cancer and long-term debilitating and chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and more.”
Working with health care providers across the country, Care Cap Plus offers patients an option to get the care they need and want without fees, interest, or penalties. By providing options for interest-free and fee-free payment plans for high out-of-pocket expenses, the company helps reduce the number of people who are delaying procedures due to affordability issues or high-deductibles.
Additional survey findings include:
A total of 39% of respondents say they have delayed a medical procedure because they couldn’t afford it or the deductible. Twice as many women (53%) as men (25%) have done so.
Among those who have delayed or put off a procedure due to cost, the largest number (76%) say they did so for dental or orthodontic work. Second on the list, but with half as many responses, was putting off an urgent or critical procedure such as a diagnostic test or surgery (36%).
Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) Floridians with a medical expense that isn’t covered by insurance will dip into savings (38%) or use a personal credit card (37%). Slightly more than one-third would choose not to have the procedure (35%).
Fewer than 2 in 10 respondents (17%) have used a medical credit or taken out a medical loan to pay for a procedure.
Almost 4 in 10 (37%) say they would be more likely to pick a medical practice that demonstrates concern about patient medical debt. Three in 10 would be interested in a medical practice that offers no-interest /no-fee financing for procedures that are not covered by insurance.
The CDC reported last June that the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to adults delaying or avoiding medical care, and the fear of incurring significant medical debt is a factor in many people’s decisions about whether to seek care or treatment.
“Medical debt in this country is an enormous problem, and unfortunately the options for paying for medical expenses only compound the problem,” said James Giordano, Chief Executive Officer for Care Cap Plus. “When people need to dip into their savings, use a personal or medical credit card, or take out loans to pay for a health care expense, it has a negative long-term impact on their overall financial stability and wellness. People shouldn’t have to go into debt to stay healthy or get necessary medical care.”
According to a 2018 survey published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, 22.7% of American adults have unpaid medical bills that are past due. Other surveys have shown that medical debt is the No. 1 reason Americans would consider liquidating their 401(k) or other retirement savings, and that about two-thirds of all personal bankruptcies are tied to health care bills. In Florida, 20.7% of adults – 3.5 million residents – have unpaid medical bills.
“We’ve found that even when people can afford their deductible or the cost of an elective procedure, many don’t want to deplete their savings, incur additional debt, or may not qualify to finance it due to existing debt burdens of low or no credit score,” said Jim Giordano, CEO for Care Cap Plus. “We began working with medical practices and hospitals to offer an alternative payment method to those patients with a high propensity to pay based on our algorithm that looks at factors beyond a traditional credit score.”
Since its launch almost two years ago, Care Cap Plus has worked with health care providers across the country to offer patients an option to get the care they need and want without fees, interest, or penalties, reducing the number of people who are delaying procedures due to affordability issues or high-deductibles.
Care Cap Plus’ business model helps both patients and providers by accepting lower credit scores and offering flexible payment plans for patients and providing payment processing and collection servicing for providers.
“As a result of our partnership with Care Cap, the number of patients we’ve been able to help has risen significantly,” said Dr. Robert Jason, an obstetrics and gynecology specialist based out of New York. “Most insurances won’t cover these kinds of procedures or deny the claim, leaving our patients with few choices. With Care Cap Plus as an option, my patients can seek the care they need and want without going into debt, and focus on living healthier and happier lives.”
*The statewide survey of 600 Florida voters, was conducted February 13-16, 2021 by Sachs Media’s Breakthrough Research division. Margin of error is +/ -4.4 % at the 95% confidence level.
About Care Cap Plus
Care Cap Plus, LLC (Care Cap Plus) is a payment plan underwriter and servicer of payment plans related to medical receivables. Care Cap Plus enables healthcare providers the ability to bridge the increasing gap between patient out-of-pocket expenses and available payment options. Care Cap Plus facilitates “no fine print,” zero interest, plus zero fee payment plans for providers, allowing patients to pay for elective or other procedures not covered by insurance without taking on a loan from a third-party. Care Cap Plus payment plans allow partner providers to accept patients with subprime credit. For more information about Care Cap Plus, visit https://carecapplus.com.