Apr 20, 2015

L.A. Care Covered Becomes First ACA Health Plan to Offer Cash Payment Option

Technology partnership with PayNearMe fills void for unbanked consumers who need to maintain mandated health insurance coverage but have no credit or debit account

SUNNYVALE, Calif. and LOS ANGELES – April 20, 2015 – Twenty-eight percent of Americans have little or no relationship with a bank, leaving them with limited options when paying for health insurance because most insurance carriers require payment through credit cards, check or ACH transfer. L.A. Care Health Plan is partnering with PayNearMe so that its L.A. Care Covered plan members can take advantage of subsidies on the Covered California health insurance exchange and pay with cash at 683 convenient locations throughout Los Angeles County.

L.A. Care Covered plan members simply print or send their unique PayNearMe payment code to their smartphone, walk into a 7-Eleven or other participating store, and hand both the code and cash to the cashier as if they are making a regular purchase.

The transaction is free; L.A. Care Covered is automatically notified of a payment as soon as the cashier collects it, and the funds are guaranteed. Members receive receipts as proof of their transactions.

“Almost everyone is now required to have health insurance, but for people who have limited or no access to a bank account, it can be difficult to pay monthly premiums, until now,” said L.A. Care Chief Executive Officer John Baackes. “L.A. Care exists to provide access to quality health care for Los Angeles County’s vulnerable residents, and this partnership with PayNearMe enables us to do exactly that, in a way that is convenient and easy for our members.”

Many of the stores are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making it easy and convenient for members with even the latest night work shifts to maintain their health coverage. Members who are traveling can take advantage of the 17,000 retail payment locations in PayNearMe’s nationwide network. There are 1,953 PayNearMe retail payment locations in California.

“Why should it be harder to pay for necessities just because you don’t use credit cards or bank accounts?” asked Danny Shader, PayNearMe’s founder and CEO. “We give businesses a way to provide payment options for all of their consumers. Maintaining health coverage is now a federal requirement, and we are working to ensure that consumers are not penalized for their preference of payment methods.”

To learn more about using PayNearMe to pay an L.A. Care Covered health premium, please visit www.lacarecovered.org.

L.A. Care Covered is a product of L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan serving more than 1.7 million members. There are approximately 16,000 Los Angeles County residents currently enrolled in L.A. Care Covered and counting.

About PayNearMe

PayNearMe is the electronic cash transaction network that enables consumers to pay rent and utility bills, repay loans, buy tickets, make online purchases and do much more with cash. Consumers can conveniently make payments on their own schedule and in their own neighborhood in less than a minute at one of over 17,000 trusted locations, including 7-Eleven® and Family Dollar® stores across the United States. For more information, please visit: http://www.PayNearMe.com.

About L.A. Care

L.A. Care Health Plan (Local Initiative Health Authority of Los Angeles County) is a public entity and community-accountable health plan serving residents of Los Angeles County through a variety of health coverage programs including L.A. Care Covered™, Medi-Cal, L.A. Care Cal MediConnect Plan, L.A. Care’s Healthy Kids and PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Health Care Plan. L.A. Care is a leader in developing new programs through innovative partnerships designed to provide health coverage to vulnerable populations and to support the safety net. With more than 1.7 million members, L.A. Care is the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan.