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BNPL solutions: Bridging the healthcare gap for disenfranchised groups | Viewpoint

Opinion
Article

Services such as Buy Now, Pay Later and Pay-Over-Time are helping people afford healthcare services that were out of reach, Austin Talley writes.

Imagine needing urgent medical care but hesitating due to the looming bills. For many, this is a daily reality. With healthcare costs projected to rise by 5.6% this year, the financial strain on families is palpable.

Austin Talley (Submitted by author)

Austin Talley (Submitted by author)

According to the Milliman Medical Index (MMI), a family of four will soon face more than $30,000 in annual care expenses. While costs momentarily decreased in 2020 due to the pandemic, they have been on an upward trajectory ever since, with projections indicating that individuals will now pay over $7,000 annually for healthcare.

For many in lower-income brackets, healthcare has long been a luxury rather than a right. The widening gap between those who can afford healthcare and those who cannot, especially among various demographics, socioeconomic groups, and locations, is alarming. However, services such as Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) and Pay-Over-Time are revolutionizing the way people approach their healthcare, making previously unattainable treatments accessible.

Pay-Over-Time gives patients the advantage of making flexible payments so they can access care from medical providers when they need it. It’s a crucial option when it’s noted that 58 percent of U.S. adults say they delay—or decline—medical care due to cost (Morning Consult).

Unlike traditional credit systems, BNPL solutions like Pay-Over-Time offer more flexibility, transparency, and accessibility. They cater specifically to those who might not have access to conventional financial solutions. The Pay-Over-Time integration platform even extends its convenience to Pay By Text, allowing patients to process payments swiftly and securely via text messages. This innovation not only facilitates patients in managing their payments but also ensures they can do so from the comfort of their phones.

Smaller healthcare providers, often operating on tight margins, rely heavily on timely payments. The Pay-Over-Time option not only ensures patients can afford care but also guarantees providers can access funds promptly in a safe and secure environment. This rapid financial turnover is crucial for the survival and success of many healthcare establishments.

The applicability of personalized and transparent payment plans like Pay-Over-Time extends beyond traditional medical healthcare. It encompasses sectors like home services, eyecare, and dental, truly transforming and even saving patients' lives. It empowers individuals to seek the treatment they need without the paralyzing fear of financial repercussions. This innovative solution, familiar to many consumers, is ripe for broader adoption in healthcare.

As healthcare evolves, so should our approach to financing it. BNPL solutions are more than just payment methods; they represent hope, access, and a brighter, healthier future for all.

Austin (Larry) Talley is the founder and CEO of Everyware.

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