How Will The 'Unbanked' Buy Insurance On The Exchanges?

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When movie stars become , they’re no longer a slam dunk at the box office. When investments become , they’re relegated to the junk pile. For ordinary Americans deemed those who don’t have a traditional checking or savings account, it can be hard to simply pay bills. And that is about to become a big problem for those who also lack health coverage -- and for the health insurance companies trying to sell them coverage. After all, how do you sell a product to a customer who has no way to pay you?

One in five households in the United States, or about 51 million adults have only a tenuous relationship with a traditional bank, relying instead on check-cashing stores and money lenders, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The new federal health law which requires most Americans to carry health insurance starting in January presents a particular problem for those households, since most health plans accept a credit card for the first month’s premium payment and then require customers to pay monthly with a check or an electronic funds transfer from a checking account.

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Source: Kaiser Health News