AccessOne MedCard

6.6

Overall Score

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Intro to AccessOne MedCard

AccessOne MedCard was founded in 2001 and has since worked with over 50 hospitals throughout the southeast. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, this company has a smaller network of providers—mostly in North Carolina but also in various parts of Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina. Since their founding, the company has helped over 400,000 clients.

Based on their provider network, AccessOne is a smaller business compared to other healthcare financing companies. Concentrated only in the South, they pride themselves on being operated by a team of former healthcare providers—individuals who understand both sides of the system and truly want to help. With empathy and expertise, they emphasize that they will not deny credit to any applicant, regardless of your credit history.  

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The Good

  • Time in business
  • Simple plans
  • Features
  • Online portal

Time in Business

With over a decade of experience under the belt, AccessOne MedCard stands out as a well-established business. The fact that they service only a handful of states can be seen as a pro too. For patients in that region, this company comes across as a somewhat local third party with an understanding team.
But their background isn't all that this company has going for them.

Simple Plans

AccessOne's payment plans are simple to understand. First off, it's important to know that they offer only medical credit cards and not loans. They give all patients two options to pay off this credit card: (1) a one-year plan in which you are charged zero interest and you make 12 equal monthly payments and (2) a longer-term plan that does charge interest-9.25% per year.

Features

Here are the features you'll especially enjoy with AccessOne:

  • Lack of fees. They aren't here to burden you with fees. It's free to apply for a credit card through AccessOne, first of all, and once you do establish that line of credit, they will not charge annual fees or prepayment penalties. This is reassuring, especially considering you're already getting a new credit card to pay for bills that are already burdensome. In fact, the main fee you'd have to worry about is the one for if you ever have to make a late payment. Even then, they only charge $10 per late payment-a very low toll.
  • Covers any medical industry. Admittedly, AccessOne's network of providers is rather small (of about 50 hospitals). But as long as the hospital you're being treated at is a registered provider in this network, then you can use your AccessOne card for any treatment, procedure, or surgery! Whether you need dental work, surgery for your vision, a bariatric procedure, or anything else-as long as your hospital can provide it-you can count on the AccessOne MedCard to help finance it.
  • No patient is denied. Possibly the most appealing aspect here is that this company won't deny anyone of healthcare financing. Many competitors determine eligibility for a medical loan or credit card based on credit scores. With AccessOne, they know there's more to a patient than that, and they want to help.

The Bad

  • Limited locations
  • Network size
  • Credit only
  • Interest rate

Limited Locations

Like any business, AccessOne isn't without limitations. Despite the many advantages here, the company is still somewhat new and limited in terms of location. Fourteen years in business is no small feat, especially in today's economy, but compared to some financing companies who have been around for decades (or even more than a century), AccessOne is a new name, with lots of room to grow. Location-wise, they've limited themselves to just six states, which gives them a disadvantage from nationwide companies (especially for patients who don't live in the southeast).

Network Size

An AccessOne card is only useful at hospitals that are registered providers in the company's network. All in all, AccessOne has about 50 registered hospitals in six states. So even though you can use your card for any medical procedure, it becomes quite useless to you if you can't use one of those hospitals to get the procedure. For any patient who lives outside of these states, AccessOne isn't really an option.

Credit Only

Here you can only obtain a medical credit card (which in reality establishes a line of credit for you through the hospital you use). What AccessOne doesn't provide are loans, which can be better suited to costly treatments. Even though your credit won't be affected by an application to AccessOne, it will be affected by the credit card you use here. So if you're great with a credit card, that should be no problem, but this is a limitation for patients who would be better off with a loan.

Interest Rate

Whether loan or credit, though, interest rates are usually a burden. AccessOne's APR is 9.25% and doesn't really change no matter what plan you get. (Unless you get the one-year, no-interest credit card.) That rate is kind of high, and if you need more than a year to pay off the credit you use for your treatments, then you can't even use the interest-free plan. What's more, AccessOne doesn't provide any reduced-APR plans.

Truthfully, the company website here isn't incredibly informative either. And while this isn't the most important aspect of a company, it can make or break a potential patient's decision to work with AccessOne. Patients need communication, transparency, and trust-all things that can be built by a detailed website. In some ways, AccessOne provides only vague information about their products and would do well to give upfront specifics on interest rates, for example.

The disadvantages here deal primarily with the company's locations and the fact that they provide credit only. For patients who live outside of the southeast region or who are safer to use a loan for a medical treatment, AccessOne is really non-optional.

The Bottom Line

On the whole, this company is a recommended option for healthcare financing. However, that recommendation comes with two conditions: (1) that you live near/can get treatment at a hospital in their small network and (2) that you are okay with getting a medical credit card instead of a loan.

If you don't meet those two conditions, then AccessOne can't help you. Which isn't a complete loss, if you consider the potential frustrations of their interest rate or if you prefer working with a more time-established company anyway.

If you do meet those conditions, though, this company is an excellent resource. The pros outweigh the cons by far. Not only do they refrain from charging hidden fees; their cards can be used for any medical procedure and their payment plans are straightforward.

For any patient who meets these conditions but is on the fence about AccessOne, consider these factors: an application is free and won't affect your credit (credit will be affected if you actually get the card); in addition, AccessOne won't deny any patients who need their help. Even for the ones who need treatment but don't have the credit to afford it, AccessOne is available. They are driven by the goal to provide financial assistance to anyone in need.

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