This week BetterMed announced the availability of a full medical loan for the US market at a guaranteed fixed rate of 3.9% APR.
This news comes at a time when health care costs have risen in recent years, with the average American now paying on average. $ 8,000 per year for personal medical care. These numbers are expected to grow faster than the economy at a rate of 5.6% each year. In 2018 alone, Americans borrowed more than $ 88 billion to cover medical costs.
We chat with company founder and CEO AJ Cohen to learn more about the company and market opportunities.
FinSMEs: Can you tell us a little more about yourself? What’s your background?
A J: I have a JD from New York University, as well as an MA in Finance from London Business School. I founded BetterMed in 2011 and have been its CEO since its inception.
I have extensive experience in the financial industry creating the lending solutions, processes and systems required to meet the needs of today’s consumers. I have experienced first-hand the financial pressure that a medical condition can place on a family or an individual, which is why I have come to work with companies and individuals who need help with their medical finances.
Medical debt remains the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States, cited in 67% of all personal bankruptcy cases, despite the Affordable Care Act. It is my mission to live in a world where we can say “yes” to life-changing treatments without the worrying burden of financial hardship that can ensue.
FinPME: what is BetterMed? What need do you want to solve? What is the market opportunity?
A J: Despite having one of the best health care services in the world, Americans often find the care they need is beyond their reach.
Research shows that nearly a quarter of Americans decided not to see a doctor because of the cost. Despite the Affordable Care Act, insureds are also struggling. Many find the deductible costs themselves overwhelming – almost 90% have deductibles of $ 1,300 or more for an individual or $ 2,600 for a familyeven on the most affordable plans. At all levels, the system is getting more and more expensive, and collectively patients, doctors, hospitals and clinics are all paying the brunt.
As a result, people (patients) are increasingly looking for financial solutions to help them foot the bill for the care they need, which has created a predatory lending environment. The harsh reality is that medical finance companies take advantage of people when they are most vulnerable, imposing high interest rates, complicated contracts and hidden loopholes on them.
We are different. Our application software was designed from the ground up, designed to assess borrowers on more comprehensive terms than a traditional credit check. Using machine learning and assessment metrics that include a $ 999 application fee, proof of identity, income, and employment, our algorithm refined its lending process to ensure that 97% of applicants are approved.
Today, I am proud to say that BetterMed is the world’s only compassionate medical loan provider, committed to providing our borrowers with the best rate, most favorable loan terms, and ongoing support to ensure that medical bills are not a concern for both a consumer and a provider. To date, my company offers the lowest interest rate at 3.9% APR and the most generous loan terms of any medical loan provider in the market. We allow borrowers to pay 4-6 times less than they would with any other medical loan.
FinSMEs: Please can you explain the service to us in detail
A J: BetterMed’s financing options cover a wide range of healthcare costs, providing borrowers with the most compassionate loan terms and flexible repayment plans in the market. The company guarantees a 97% approval rate on loans ranging from $ 2,000 to $ 350,000 without credit checks. We pride ourselves on being a different, personal, and very compassionate medical loan provider. It has proven to be such a success that we have achieved a 97% repayment rate and 100% of its borrowers are loyal customers.
With an APR of just 3.9%, with at least three years interest-free, no penalty repayment plan, the BetterMed team works with borrowers to ensure they receive essential funding for healthcare costs. without onerous loan terms or predatory collection tactics. Unlike other medical loan providers, BetterMed has the power to negotiate health care costs on behalf of its clients, working with hospitals and physicians to ensure patients receive the most reasonable rates possible.
Our network of investors operates through a closed peer-to-peer lending model, working directly with physicians, hospitals and individuals to provide quick access to funds needed for medical needs ranging from critical, chronic and cosmetic.
We offer financing for all types of medical expenses and we are one of the only companies to specialize in critical care cases, traditionally one of the most difficult areas for individuals to obtain medical financing. Our compassionate care program ensures that no one is denied the life-saving care they need.
The BetterMed difference
Lowest interest rate in the world, set at 3.9%. Pay 4 to 6 times less with BetterMed.
Borrow what you need – from $ 2,000 to $ 350,000 – with a 97% approval rating.
Use the loan to cover medical bills and unpaid debts.
Our Compassionate Grounds program automatically assesses those in need, ensuring no one is turned down.
FinPME: Can you give us some figures in terms of growth (number of employees, customers, etc.)?
A J: BetterMed’s network of over 700 investors operates through a closed peer-to-peer lending model. We work with hospitals, doctors and individuals to provide medical loans around the world, with a global team of lenders, loan administrators and staff. Since our initial launch in 2011, BetterMed has achieved at least 50% year-over-year revenue growth and funds over 150,000 applicants per year. A privately held company, BetterMed is now available in 51 countries, including Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Australia and United States.
FinPME: plans for the future?
A J: We are in an exciting growth phase at BetterMed, with a solid trajectory for 2020. We will continue to advocate for cheaper and more accessible care, and to negotiate for our clients when they need it most. While medical finance is one of the critical sectors in need of this service, BetterMed has exciting plans in the works to expand its loan and debt consolidation services to new markets. Watch this place.
For more information on BetterMed, please visit www.bettermed.com