FINANCING A BIG VETERINARY BILL
No one wants to be in the situation where affordability of treatment for your Greyhound is a factor in your decision to proceed at the vet. But sometimes that happens, and we need to be prepared to make the best decision for our pups. We found ourselves in this situation with our first Greyhound, Jacki, after she had a stroke. Our regular vet sent us to the neurological specialists, and they had several options for treatment, but all were prohibitively expensive. Then we were introduced to CareCredit, a special type of credit card for medical and veterinary bills not paid by insurance.
HOW IS CARE CREDIT DIFFERENT?
CareCredit is a healthcare credit card designed for health and wellness needs for you, your entire family and your pets. Use it to pay for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by medical insurance, and special financing options are available that you may not be able to get with other cards.
Pay for health and wellness care at over 225,000 enrolled providers across the nation. Once you've applied, you can use it again and again at any location that accepts CareCredit. Check to see if your veterinarian is accepting CareCredit. If not, consider asking them to investigate offering this to their clients. They get paid just like a regular credit card.
The best thing about it is, depending on the total expense, you can have up to a year or more to pay, interest free. According to the website, https://www.carecredit.com , “With shorter term financing options of 6, 12, 18 or 24 months no interest is charged on purchases of $200 or more when you make the minimum monthly payments and pay the full amount due by the end of the promotional period. If you do not, interest is charged from the original purchase date.” Note: the interest rate is high, so you do want to pay it off before the end of the promotional period.
CareCredit also extends longer term healthcare financing on higher amounts for 24, 36, 48 or 60-month periods with reduced APR and fixed monthly payments required until paid in full. Your provider can help you figure out which promotion is right for you.
HOW DO YOU GET IT?
Getting the card is subject to credit approval by Synchrony Bank. You can apply online or by phone. You can even apply by phone from the vet’s office, and get approval right there! You will need to provide:
- Doctor's name, or how you plan to use your CareCredit card
- Your Name
- Date of birth (must be over 18)
- Social security number or Taxpayer ID
- Net income
- Housing Information
You do not have to specify which promotion you will choose at the time you apply. Once you have the card, you can use it at any provider who accepts CareCredit.
Wells Fargo Health Advantage is another possibility for promotional period no-interest financing of veterinary bills. Check them out at https://retailservices.wellsfargo.com/wfha_veterinarians.html
The episode with Jacki did have a happy ending. She got the diagnostics and treatment she needed, and we got one year no interest financing, which was a huge help at that time.
Hopefully, you will not need this, but if you do, you are prepared and know your options.