According to an article published by NPR, Californians are now able to pay cash for their monthly health insurance premiums at over 680 locations across California. The L.A. Care health insurance, one of the carriers offered at Covered California, is available at beloved and easy to access retailers such as 7-Eleven and Family Dollar stores. According to NPR.org, “The payment posts to L.A. Care within 24 hours, and the service is free to customers.”
Why has buying health insurance become as easy as “buying a Slurpee”? After a study by the Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, it became clear that “one in four Americans who were previously uninsured and eligible for federal insurance subsidies don’t have a bank account, relying instead on prepaid debit cards, money orders and cash to pay bills.” After learning these facts, the Obama administration ordered health plans to begin accepting payments that didn’t include a credit card or checking account.
L.A. Care will receive the funds through PayNearMe, an electronic cash transaction network. Now the nearly 25% of L.A. Care members who have been mailing in money orders each much will be saved a significant amount of hassle and time. And, all of this without increasing administrative costs for L.A. Care.
This new method of purchasing monthly health insurance will be a lifesaver for the bank account-less lower class families of California.