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June 25, 2015

SCOTUS decision on healthcare tax credits doesn’t solve healthcare affordability crisis: CarePayment CEO

By Shannon Conklin

Statement from Craig Hodges, CEO of patient financing firm CarePayment, about the Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell

PORTLAND, OR (June 25, 2015) – This decision supports millions in America who struggle to pay for medical care. It will help families and individuals continue to afford essential health insurance coverage.

But tax credits alone cannot close the widening healthcare affordability gap due to high deductibles and other rising out-of-pocket medical costs. Healthcare costs are squeezing the working-class and middle-class who are the backbone of the U.S. economy. With annual family deductibles as high as $10,000, people are avoiding care because of cost: 49% of adults said they skipped treatment for “somewhat serious” medical concerns and 17% went without care for “very serious” conditions, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Like buying a car or a home, healthcare increasingly is a major purchase for people, and we should treat it as such. Healthcare providers across the country are starting to offer cost estimates, upfront financial counseling and assistance to patients. But more can and must be done to enable people to pay for medical services affordably and over time, without the fear of hidden fees, ballooning interest rates or impact on credit scores.

People shouldn’t have to choose between paying their electric bill or getting necessary medical treatment. Protecting patients’ financial health requires practical, proven and flexible approaches that help people receive and pay for the care they need and compensate doctors, hospitals and other providers for their services so they can continue to serve their communities.