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As the year 2014 fast approaches, a lot of people are starting to get worried that they may not be able to avail of health insurance as required by the law, mainly because insurance companies only accepted bank transfers or personal checks as payment, but what if a person does not have an account with any bank? It is not uncommon for some people to not have a bank account of their own, especially since the financial crash wherein a couple of big banks were involved.

Fortunately, prepaid debit cards will also be accepted as a form of payment for health insurance, and this makes it possible for anyone to get coverage through the health insurance marketplace.

As announced last August 30, 2013 by the Department of Health and Human Services, the insurance companies who will be taking part in the health insurance exchange are required to accept prepaid debit cards as a form of payment, they may also start accepting recurring credit card payments when the insurance marketplaces open later this year. It is important that even low-income households can easily get healthcare coverage using the marketplace, because that will become the barometer of the new law’s success.

Almost one in four people in the low-income bracket does not have a bank account, and these are the people who are afraid that they will be getting under heavy debt once 2014 rolls in and everyone is required to have health insurance coverage. Fortunately for them, the issue of insurance companies not accepting card payments has been rectified, thanks in part to the participation of Visa and Mastercard (they wrote letters to the administration to push for card payments).

But even though debit cards are now acceptable as payment, insurers can still deny cash payments. Other forms of payment that are now accepted by insurance companies are cashier’s checks, bank account transfers, and money orders among others. The only thing that the HHS was not able to do (as of now) is to require insurers to accept monthly payments, either by credit or debit card; this would have made it much easier for people to gain access to healthcare.

Hopefully, before the health insurance marketplace opens in a couple of weeks, all of the problems regarding the Healthcare Law get solved, or at least minimized. If the government requires that all citizens must have healthcare coverage, then all the barriers preventing them from doing so must be taken down.

Posted 10:26 AM

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