New research from the Federal Reserve shows that signing up for health insurance coverage may not only protect you from financial disaster, such as an unexpected trip to the emergency room, it may also boost your long-term credit history.
There’s a little-noticed weak link in the federal government’s plan to extend health care insurance to millions of Americans who now lack it: The uninsured may have to stay uninsured if they’re also unbanked.
So says a report issued by Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, titled “Uninsured + Unbanked = Unenrolled.”
It points out that one in four uninsured Americans eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) do not have bank accounts. In the parlance of the financial industry, they’re “unbanked.” Unless insurance companies allow customers to pay their premiums using prepaid debit cards — which they’re not required to now — it could put a chill on who actually enrolls.