Residents of the state of Indiana may find a silver lining in the rising medical costs across the U.S. With the cost of medications, checkups, and procedures on the rise, more and more Americans are charging health-related expenses to their credit cards. This has led to increasing credit debts for millions of cardholders. In fact, a survey conducted earlier this year has found out that the average cardholder owes $2,194 in medical expenses to their card companies. Experts point out that the figure comprises the out of pocket expenses not covered by health insurance.
With the ongoing and fierce debate on health insurance raging, many analysts say that they are expecting more Americans to turn to plastic when it comes to paying their medical bills. This can spell trouble for millions of cardholders who are already heavily in debt. The uncertainty over unemployment figures also adds to the worries that Americans will be even more incapable of paying off mounting debts.
In Indiana, however, citizens are being offered incentives in the form of debit cards to encourage them to visit their doctors for regular checkups. Medicare patients and clients with debit cards in the state are being offered an initial $15 dollars just to have themselves checked out by doctors. Patients can also receive $20 more on their cards if they go to an annual checkup with their primary doctors. Even new mothers will receive an additional $10 whenever they bring their newborns for checkups. According to many experts, the program is intended to encourage health awareness among the state's residents.
By having debit cards, patients can avail of the cash incentives by simply going to their primary family doctors. Health specialists in Indiana point out that by encouraging more people to have their regular checkups, they can avoid more prohibitive medical expenses in the future. They explain that preventive measures are much more effective and cheaper than treatment options later on.
The program is also expected to help fuel the demand for debit cards. A separate study has found that debit cards now number conventional credit cards in the U.S. The number of Americans charging medical and hospital bills to their credit cards is also rising. Studies have even suggested that some $150 billion will be charged to credit cards by 2015. The dearth of high-paying jobs and unstable income sources are forcing many consumers to charge medical expenses to their plastic, further increasing their debts.