4 Best Alternatives to Health Insurance for Better Patient Care

  • Vishali
  • September 5, 2023
Alternatives to health insurance

An estimated 112 million Americans (44%) struggle to pay for healthcare due to high medical costs. As a result, more people want other alternatives to health insurance.   

In this blog, learn about the different alternatives and how they can help improve patients’ access to healthcare. 

THE NEED FOR HEALTH INSURANCE ALTERNATIVES

Here are the top reasons:

(A) Increasing Demand

As per a 2021 report, around 30 million Americans had no health coverage due to significantly high costs. Hence, the demand for health insurance alternatives gradually increased. 

(B) Attract and Retain Patients

Uninsured people delay or avoid seeing a doctor until their health deteriorates severely. Thus, alternatives like offering payment plans can encourage them to visit their doctor for their ongoing healthcare needs. 

(C) Preventing Medical Debt

Around 41% of Americans had debt due to medical or dental bills last year. However, health insurance alternatives like flexible payment plans can help patients access affordable care easily. It promotes affordability and helps them avoid accumulating more debt.

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BEST ALTERNATIVES OPTIONS TO HEALTH INSURANCE

These are the top 4 alternatives you should consider offering:

1. CareCredit

CareCredit is a popular health insurance alternative. It is a medical credit card that lets patients pay for their medical expenses instantly. The patients can pay the bill in fixed installments as per the contract terms. 

Pros:

  • No upfront costs
  • Covers all kinds of medical services, including cosmetic procedures

Cons:

  • A credit score of 620 or better is needed for approval
  • Involves a longer enrollment process (7–10 days or more)
  • Low approval rate for patients with bad credit scores

2. Credee

It's a flexible payment plan software that enables you to create custom payment plans for each patient. It helps you offer budget-friendly payment options to patients of different financial backgrounds.

Additionally, the software manages your contracts, sends automated payment reminders, and collects payments. 

Pros:

  • Flexible payment plans 
  • Covers a range of medical and cosmetic treatments
  • No credit checks
  • 97% approval rate
  • On-demand availability
  • Coverage duration ranges from 3–48 months  
  • Payment protection

Cons:

  • Cannot create payment plans for medical treatments less than $300

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3. Medicaid

Medicaid is a government-funded coverage option for uninsured people with low incomes. It's a low or no-cost health insurance program. Over 70% of healthcare providers in the United States accept Medicaid.

It enables patients to get essential coverage for primary and preventive care. It also covers mental health and pregnancy care. 

Pros:

  • Available year-round for eligible U.S. citizens
  • Affordable for low-income patients

Cons:

  • Coverage amounts vary by state and eligibility of the patient
  • May only offer coverage to patients of a specific demographic or region  
  • Limited coverage (for specified treatments only) 
  • Limited approval

4. Afterpay

It is a short-term ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ financing option. It allows patients to pay their bills in four equal installments within 4-6 weeks. They can also choose a 6- or 12-month plan with an APR of up to 35.99%.

Pros:

  • Quick and easy enrollment process
  • No credit checks
  • 4 interest-free installments for a limited promo period
  • Covers a range of medical and elective procedures

Cons:

  • Penalties for late payments
  • High-interest rates for those with poor credit (for 6–12 month plans)
  • The highest financing limit is $2000

  Health Insurance CareCredit Credee Afterpay Medicaid
Flexible Payment Structure No No Yes No No
Coverage limit Varies according to health insurance plan Maximum $25,000 Payment plans for $300–$20,000 $200–$2,000 per transaction No fixed limit. (Average coverage approx. $2,000–$4,000+)
Approvals Limited Low approval for patients with low credit scores 97% approval rate Approx. 70% or less Limited approvals
Credit Check Yes Credit Score of 620 or better No Soft Credit Check N/A
Enrollment Process Lengthy 7–10 days or more Quick process and instant approval Quick process Lengthy
Interest Varies High interest for patients with low credit scores Lower interest rate 0% to 35.99% Varies as per state laws
Duration 12-months (renewable) 6–24 months 3–48 months 4–6 weeks and 6–12 months 12-months (renewable)

Final Thoughts

With rising medical costs and demand for alternatives to health insurance, it's crucial to take action. CareCredit, Credee, Medicaid, and Afterpay all offer convenient ways for patients to pay their medical bills. However, Credee stands out as the best option with its ‘No Credit Check’ policy and payment flexibility.

You can customize the payment plans to extend coverage to patients regardless of their credit standing. Moreover, it minimizes the risk of non-repayment issues by providing payment protection!

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