Care Credit

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Care Credit

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What is CareCredit, and Why Should You Get It?

We live in a world where healthcare bills and those fees associated with maintaining your overall well-being can get quite costly. Health insurance plans are fine, but let’s face it, sometimes they may not cover everything that we need or want. You are therefore left paying out of pocket, which can get expensive—sometimes very expensive.

Medical and healthcare-related bills can be right up there with mortgages, car payments, and tuition bills, to name a few, and figuring out where to come up with the money when needed can be incredibly difficult for some. This is where CareCredit presents a solution that alleviates that immediate out-of-pocket payment and helps you more affordably manage the bills associated with services centered on health and well-being.

CareCredit works just like a credit card, except that there is no interest charged if the amount is paid off during the stipulated payment period when it comes to specific qualifying purchases. This period can range from 6 to 24 months in some cases. You thus spread the burden of having to pay a larger medical or healthcare-related bill over a far more comfortable period without accruing interest charges.

What Does CareCredit Cover?

First off, the purchase that you are making using your CareCredit card has to be a qualifying purchase. This means that it needs to be connected to healthcare and well-being services. Bonus: it can even be used to pay your pet’s vet bills!

Qualifying purchases under your CareCredit plan include the following among numerous others:

  • Cosmetic surgical procedures to include nose jobs, breast augmentation, body sculpting, facelifts, eyelid surgery, hair replacement, tummy tucks and more.
  • Non Surgical cosmetic procedures include microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, cool sculpting, tattoo removal, and chemical peels
  • Dermatological procedures: laser and light therapy, dermatology appointments, age spot treatment, acne treatments, varicose vein treatment, Mohs surgery, among many others.
  • Dentistry services include teeth cleaning, periodontics, sealants, mouth guards, fillings, fluoride treatments, implants, veneers, root canals, and braces.
  • Vision-related services to include Lasik and glasses/contact purchases
  • Coverage of medical deductibles
  • Spa services
  • Chiropractic care
  • Weight loss treatments/medications

This only scratches the surface; CareCredit does cover just about any treatment, service, supplies, and medications related to the health and well-being of yourself, your family, and your pets. If you are unsure whether or not something is covered with a CareCredit card, you can consult the website for further details by clicking here for a more comprehensive service coverage list.

How Does CareCredit Work?

As mentioned, once you do have a qualifying service that you want to pay for using your CareCredit card, then you can utilize the card to pay off the amount in monthly installments (interest-free in many cases) versus just having to come up with a large lump sum out of pocket.

If the expense is at least $200, you may qualify for interest-free financing using your card. The payoff periods range from 6 months to 24 months. So, for instance, let’s say you receive a bill for a cosmetic procedure for $3600. If given six months to pay off the total amount interest-free, then one option involves you making equal payments of $600 over that six months. This presents a more affordable alternative for many people who may not have an extra $3600 out of pocket to pay when services are rendered.

Keep in mind, with CareCredit, if you do not pay off the total amount of the promotional purchase during the allotted period, interest/finance charges will start to accrue until it is paid off in full. The key is to understand what is owed when and stay on top of those payments so that you can take advantage of the no-interest promotion.

You could also have a scenario in which you keep your payments lower for the duration of the repayment period and then pay off the remaining balance in month six. So, for example, with a $2200 bill, you might be paying $65 a month for five months and then a lump sum payment during the six months of $1875.

Other Purchase Options with CareCredit

There are options for a 24 month or 60-month repayment using CareCredit for health and well-being-related purchases. While these may not be interest-free, they can come with a reduced APR. According to CareCredit’s website: Purchases of $1,000 or more may be eligible for a 24-month offer with a 14.90% APR, a 36 months offer with a 15.90% APR or a 48 months offer with a 16.90% APR. Purchases of $2,500 or more may be eligible for a 60 months offer with a 17.90% APR

How Can I Qualify for a CareCredit Card?

Most people want to know whether or not they will qualify for a CareCredit card. Much as with a standard credit card, it will depend on credit history and score. And also, like with a credit card application.

Generally speaking, for a CareCredit account, you will need to have a FICO of at least 620 (though some may get approved with lower scores). The website suggests that you call for reconsideration if initially turned down online. That said, you might also look into a joint application or ask someone you know to be listed as a user on their account. Some income requirements apply.

When filling out a CareCredit application, you will likely be asked to supply the following: name, date of birth, income, address, housing information, and social security number. A prequalification process will not impact your credit score. It will give you better insight into whether or not you would qualify should you go through a more formal application process.

CareCredit also makes it possible to apply in person at a variety of healthcare providers, spas and retail locations. They do not, however, accept emailed applications.

Where is CareCredit Accepted?

First, it’s best to check with the provider/location in question to see if they accept CareCredit for payment. That is the significant part about using CareCredit. Over 250,000 healthcare providers, retail locations, and well-being service providers, currently accept the card. So again, this may include everything from more traditional doctor’s offices, to veterinarians, to spas and dentists.

The Conclusion:

Healthcare can be expensive—for humans and animals. Having an interest-free way to spread the payments over time can be a lifesaver for many and allow you to get the things you need to have a healthier and more balanced life! CareCredit is becoming the faster, more accessible, and affordable way to pay for otherwise expensive medical and well-being-related services.