Consumers can now pay cash for health insurance

Apr 28, 2015 | Health Insurance Billing

L.A. Care, the largest publicly run health plan has recently allowed customers to pay their health insurance premiums with cash. Customers who do not have traditional bank accounts can now pay their monthly premiums in cash at more than 680 locations such as 7-Eleven and Family Dollar Stores. Payments get posted to L.A. Care within 24 hours after customers scan a barcode sent to their smartphones at the register and hand over their cash. The company offers the service for free.

According to a study by Jackson Hewitt Tax Services, one in four Americans who were previously uninsured and eligible for federal insurance subsidies do not have a bank account. Instead, they rely on prepaid debit cards, money or cash to pay their bills. Since the Obama administration ordered health plans to accept non-traditional payment methods, which did not require a credit card or checking account, L.A. Care customers were given the option to pay their health insurance premiums at their own convenience. The order came after advocates for low-income consumers raised major concerns over how "unbanked" households would pay their monthly premiums to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Kaiser Health News reports that some low- and modern-income households turn their backs on bank accounts, due to the havoc check account and overdraft fees can wreak on their finances. At the same time, 68 percent of unbanked households have mobile phones, which they heavily rely upon. With the aid of mobile technology, their cash is now converted into electronic payments.

Even with the availability of cash-and-carry health insurance, patients can still be overwhelmed with medical debt. Professional Medical Services offers outsource receivable management services to help hospital administrators reduce the backlog of claims and payments and increase their operational efficiency.