FAQs on Unintended Consequences of the Federal Decision on Automatic Payments
Are you sure that insurance companies don’t have to accept automatic payments from debit and credit cards?
Yes. The preamble to the final rule notes explicitly that “At this time, we will allow issuers to decide whether or not to accept automatic deductions from credit or debit cards.”
What’s the big deal?
This policy choice is inconsistent with the goal of ensuring continuous enrollment and minimizing attrition in the ACA’s insurance affordability programs. By denying consumers the ability to set up an automatic payment, HHS practically ensures that many individuals and families will forget or be unable to make their payment each month – which makes it more likely that they risk having their coverage lapse. Consumers will face tax penalties for being uninsured under the recently-released IRS rules on the individual mandate – and we should be making every effort to help consumers avoid those penalties and maintain coverage.
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