- For Patients
- by Sara McFarland
Understanding Medical Loan Eligibility: 3 Questions to Ask
Many surgeries that men and women need are not covered by insurance. These include fertility treatments, plastic surgery, dental procedures, and hearing and vision care. When you need to have surgery, don’t despair because there are other options. Many doctors now offer medical loans for patients who have insurance plans that do not cover many operations.
With a choice of different types of plans depending on need, medical loans provide low monthly payments and competitive interest rates. And, a medical loan eliminates getting a huge medical bill in the mail, which may have to be paid immediately.
So now if you’re a patient who wants to improve your appearance with plastic surgery, try to have children with fertility treatments, correct problems with vision, or need other surgery not covered by insurance, a medical loan may be your option.
Many healthcare providers have a large network of lenders for patients. The applications are easy to complete, and approval can be quick. There is often funding for those with bad credit. The medical staff will help you find the best financing for your situation.
What are three questions to ask about medical financing?
What is Involved In the Process of Applying for a Medical Loan?
You will fill out the application with the help of the medical staff, who will assist in finding the best financing option for your situation. Most applications ask for standard information including work history, banking information, social security, name, address, phone, email and any outstanding loans you may have.
Loans are based on current interest rates and your credit score. Many loans are spread out over two or three years with monthly payments until the loan is fully paid. Be sure to ask for enough money to cover the entire operation; when the loan is approved, the lender pays the doctor in full. Most doctor offices will help you fill out the loan application and help you find the best one for you. Often you will receive an answer within 24 hours of completing the application.
Here’s how our patient financing application process works:
Do I Need A Down Payment and Can I Use a Co-Signer For the Loan?
Most medical loans are unsecured loans, which means you do not need to put a down payment or use personal assets as collateral. Not having to put a down payment on the loan saves you from making a payment upfront, reducing the stress of trying to get surgery or a procedure approved while worrying about the cost.
When patients do not have good credit, applying with a co-signer who has good credit is allowed. This increases the chance of approval for someone with bad credit to get a medical loan because another person in good standing assures the lender that there would be help available if needed to make payments.
What Are the Cons to Some Medical Loans?
Late payments or a default could affect your ability to get loans in the future. It could even affect your insurance rates and ability to work. Ask your surgeon whether you can negotiate any terms of the loan before it is approved. Many loans start out interest free but this is for only a short period of time. Read the fine print and know the terms of the loan before signing anything. You should expect to pay a regular monthly payment, not a minimum payment. If only minimum payments are required, then you may find that you owe more after the introductory period ends because the loan principal is not being paid off quickly but the interest rate has risen. If you get a medical loan through a broker, who deals with many lenders, rather than a single lender, there is competition so you are likely to get more competitive financing.
Overall, medical loans are a good way to finance treatments and surgeries not covered by insurance. Many doctors have multiple lenders to help patients find financing to meet their needs. Several insurance plans have high deductibles that leave patients with sizeable medical bills. As medical expenses add up, it gets harder and harder to meet payments.
Parasail offers patient financing options for out of pocket medical expense at affordable rates. They also partner with a group called Co-Patient that reviews medical bills to help reduce costs whenever possible. Contact us today to learn more about our patient payment plans.