Issue Brief | Dec 19, 2013

How State-based Marketplaces Can Better Meet the Needs of the Unbanked and Underbanked

Wakely Consulting Group – Kathie Mazza and Diana Galatian

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will make health insurance more accessible to millions of Americans. To effectuate coverage, flexible payment methods will help ensure insurance accessibility is not hampered by the absence of a traditional bank account, an all too common scenario for many uninsured households. It is estimated that as many as one in four uninsured individuals eligible for Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTCs) do not have a checking account, presenting a basic signup challenge as timely payment must be made to both initiate and maintain coverage on a monthly basis.

This brief, prepared by Wakely Consulting Group, offers some insights on this sizable population and explores various solutions that Marketplaces and issuers might consider in early 2014 to address the payment challenges presented by unbanked and underbanked individuals. These solutions could also be considered for premium payment streamlining in the 2015 open enrollment season beginning on November 15, 2014.