Under the Affordable Card Act, uninsured Americans must sign up for health insurance or risk paying a penalty, but limits on acceptable forms of payments by insurance companies may make it impossible for people without bank accounts to comply.
From American Banker:
The law allows insurance companies to determine what forms of payment they will accept from the uninsured. Some insurers have already said they will not accept credit, debit or prepaid cards for recurring payments. Their resistance is driven by the fact that Obamacare, as the law is known, requires insurers to keep premiums and administrative costs low; accepting payments via plastic requires them to pay interchange fees that generally range between 1% and 3%.
The Durbin Amendment to the Dodd Frank Act restricted which cards could do direct debits from the underlying account. So, many program managers did away with bill pay and related services all together. The question is whether an alternative will be found through new companies stepping in to fill the gap as outlined in the article, new regulations being promulgated, or if the unbanked will be left to fend for themselves.
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