The biggest news this week is all about National Consumer Protection Week, the time of year when personal finance experts get to highlight the causes near and dear to their hearts.
Our Director of Consumer Education Gerri Detweiler has heard dozens of medical billing horror stories over the years as a debt expert. That’s not that shocking — the medical billing industry is a web of confusion for even the people who work in it.
What is shocking is that medical billing doesn’t have the same consumer protections in place that other types of financing like credit cards and mortgages do. Luckily, there is a piece of legislation being considered in Congress that would put in place some of the same medical billing protections that credit card consumers currently enjoy.
Mitchell D. Weiss is a student loan expert of the first degree and if you are one of millions of Americans paying down thousands (and maybe even hundreds of thousands) of dollars in student loans, you should check out the reforms he’s suggesting.
What is great about Mitchell’s approach to reform is that he points out flaws in the education industry, as well as flaws in the actual financing of student loans. No one person is at fault for the problems of the industry, there is no doubt that there are a lot of problems — and they need to be solved.
A lot of people may not know that National Consumer Protection Week is a government initiative, so we decided to include a fantastic video from the Food and Drug Administration explaining why consumers need to be vigilant of health fraud scams.
Our favorite tip from the video, which features the Commissioner of Food and Drugs Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg and the FDA National Health Fraud Coordinator Gary Coody, is to keep your eye out for key phrases like “new discovery” and “scientific breakthrough” as these should be red flags that a product doesn’t deliver on its promises and could actually cause damage to consumers.
Image: NS Newsflash, via Flickr