A glitch in the Affordable Care Act had threatened its availabilty to those who had no bank accounts. But a new ruling from federal regulators has cleared the hurdle.
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.
I just read Fortune magazine’s article on famed financial forecaster Meredith Whitney’s predictions on the future of credit, of which she says there will be little to go ’round.
To sum it up quickly, she says the new Credit CARD Act’s restrictions on card issuers — especially in regard to restrictions on instant interest rate increases — will, in effect, prevent banks from lending “en masse” like they had before.
Her conclusion: small businesses, the unbanked population and consumers who rely on credit cards to make ends meet will turn to predatory lenders and end up paying dearly in fees and interest rates.
But weren’t we already paying dearly for our debt?
With Tuesday’s launch of the Emerging Credit Score, Experian joins a growing movement to put more of Americans financial lives unders scrutiny, upping the damage to anyone who occasionally misses a rent payment or a utililty bill deadline.