Credit Card Rates and Co-Insurance on Medical Bills

A few days ago I got a letter from my credit card company, which happens to be through a major bank, that effective the next billing cycle my APR will be going up from a current rate of just over 9% to over 14%. And, this will be a variable rate. This really steams me.

Their reasoning is that they have to raise the rates “due to market conditions, new federal regulations, and increasing business costs.” As far as I’m concerned, it’s robbery and taking advantage of their customers, most of whom are already struggling to pay their bills. Such high interest rates should be illegal. No bank would ever pay its account holders that high of interest on their savings accounts! It’s not even worth having a savings account anymore, because the interest rate return is so poor.

I always pay my credit card bill ahead of time every month, paying more than the minimum amount. I do not have a huge balance, less than $500.00, but it’s still too big, and it’s taking me forever to pay it off, since I am under-employed at the moment. And with the raise in the APR, it’s going to take me even longer now. I swear the system is rigged to keep people in debt.

I think the new regulations that the government passed regarding lenders are baloney……if they really wanted to help people and protect them from unfair lending practices, they should have put those regulations in effect immediately, not a year down the road. This reminds me of the more-or-less symbolic gesture of the Michigan legislature and governor’s office taking a pay cut because it’s “the right thing to do” during this time of economic hardship…..but this pay cut won’t take effect soon, when the governor and many of these legislators will no longer be in office! Puhleeze! Do these people think their constituents are stupid, or what? If they were really serious, they would have taken those cuts immediately. It’s really a meaningless move on their parts, under the circumstances.

Another thing that frustrates me is the cost of health care insurance, and the fact that, unless you are someone who is sick or is injured, or hospitalized, the coverage does nothing for you until you pay your deductible, which I several thousand dollars per year. The only reason I go to the doctor, pretty much, is for routine health maintenance; rarely do I get sick. The same with my husband. But when you have two or three different things you need to have checked, the deductibles add up. And now, not only do I have a few hundred dollars on my credit card to pay off, now I have several hundred dollars in deductible fees for routine maintenance testing to pay off. And what is up with “co-insurance”? I can see the co-pay for office visits, but “co-insurance”? Why is that not considered as part of the deductible, since it is also coming out of my pocket? I think it’s a rip-off.

Insurance companies get a lot of money from those of us who rarely get sick, and yet we still have to pay so much year after year whether or not we use the coverage. I think that people should get a break in their costs when they don’t have to take advantage of insurance coverage. Why can’t it carry over from year to year? Yes, it is a good thing to have insurance in case one does get very sick or has an accident or needs surgery, but if one is healthy and does not have to take advantage of the insurance coverage during a given year, why can’t that coverage roll over for the next year? It just does not seem right that we should have to pay big bucks for something that is rarely used. At this rate, I will be lucky to have these deductibles paid off before I have to see the doctor again next year!

I just think there is way too much greed in the financial industry and the healthcare industry. And I think that once I get my credit card paid off, I am going to cut it up and say “Bye-bye!”