According to data from the National Institute of Statistics, in 2010, over 73% of Romanians did not go to the doctor when they needed to. The reason: the cost of a medical visit. The system’s shortcomings in this area have led to the launch of new banking products, ready to help customers, but still those who can afford to save some money each month. The banks are bringing to the forefront a niche with potential in Romania, yet untapped: loans for medical services.
OTP Bank Romania, launched last year the product “Credit for health”. It is aimed at people who need money for various medical treatments or surgeries. The loan can be accessed through partner medical clinics. Patients can borrow a maximum of 21,000 lei, and the loan can be repaid in up to four years. Applicants do not need an advance or guarantor, as the loan is granted on the basis of the invoice issued by the medical clinic concerned.
At Regina Maria clinics, patients can pay for medical services in instalments by accessing the Flexicredit consumer loan from Raiffeisen Bank under preferential conditions, benefiting from a 1% interest rate reduction. The loan can be in lei or euro, with fixed or variable interest. Clients need a recommendation from Regina Maria to benefit from Flexicredit with preferential interest rate.
If you are a patient of Medcenter, you can access a loan for medical services from Banca Transilvania. The product was launched in August, is part of the START BT program and involves the payment of services in the form of three monthly installments without interest, regardless of the value of the package.
Banca Italo Romena grants health loans of up to 10,000 euros or the equivalent in euros. The loan can be repaid in a maximum of 60 months and is granted to customers up to 58 years old.
Partner credit cards – Health in instalments
More and more clinics have become bank partners. This means that customers can pay in instalments for the treatments prescribed here. For example, in Medsana centres you can access medical services in instalments through Alpha Bank credit cards. Thus all credit card holders: AlphaCard Visa Credit RON, Alpha MasterCard Credit RON, AlphaCard Visa Gold RON can pay in instalments with zero interest for any of Medsana services.
Arcadia Hospital offers patients the possibility to pay for medical services in 12 monthly instalments, without interest or commission. This can be done through the credit cards Card Avantaj from Credit Europe Bank, Bonus Card from Garanti Bank, Credit Card from Raiffeisen Bank and Credit Cards from Banca Transilvania.
Health with discounts
Other banks have also partnered with hospitals or clinics, including dental and beauty clinics, and these agreements bring you bonuses/discounts. Prices paid with partner cards are cheaper and up to 50% cheaper than the standard price list.
For example, the EVA.RO credit card for ladies from Libra Internet Bank has a discount scheme attached to shopping and quality medical services in the network of partner locations. The card brings you 50% discounts at partner clinics.
For Unicredit Tiriac Bank clients who have a Credit Card, Unirea Medical Centre offers an 8% discount on all services offered at CMU clinics in its network.
Health card directly from GRAL Medical clinic
Since November 2011 a new product appears on the market, branded Gral Medical, namely: the Favor Accumulation Card. First of all the Favor card is a health card with “accumulation” as the name says. This means that money is accumulated on the card and it stays on the card as long as the cardholder wants. In other words, the amount accumulated on the card is not lost at the end of the year.
Secondly, the card can be used by all family members (parents, children, siblings, etc.). When the patient is placed in a situation where a relative has health problems, the Favor card protects the whole family. Thirdly, the card gives you maximum flexibility in accumulation (monthly, occasional or both) and access to all medical services with significant discounts.