Health Care Payments Now Require This


NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Paying your health care bills on time is now even more important for consumers who are adding health insurance to their list of bills.

But several online services now help consumers streamline the effort by requiring only one login, saving people the hassle of having to remember multiple passwords.

Customers will now be able to manage their health insurance accounts - including the option to view statements of benefits and deductible balances alongside their financial and household accounts - through one secure log-in at Manilla, the New York-based free digital mailbox service that allows consumers to manage their bills and other personal accounts.

"Our consumer research shows that the majority of people either haven't established login information for managing healthcare accounts online or they can't remember what that login information is," said Jim Schinella, CEO of Manilla. "That's a crucial first step to building an on-going digital relationship with their insurance providers. Consequently, consumers have a relatively unaided understanding of their explanation of benefits (EOB) documents, which are critical to understanding and managing their own healthcare."

Health insurance companies are among the lowest paperless adoption business segments in the United States.

Many consumers have recently signed up to pay for health insurance and will be making their monthly premium payments.

Only 38% of Americans would rather pay a fine than buy health insurance, according to a new report. The survey also revealed that 65% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 would buy health insurance versus 57% of Americans 30 and older.

Not only do consumers have to pay their monthly premiums, but they may face out of pocket fees not covered by their insurance or want to examine the balance of their deductible.

"By enabling consumers to now manage their healthcare accounts, we're helping insurers and their customers better communicate with each other in a way that strengthens the relationship between the two," Schinella said. "With statements being added to Manilla accounts we feel that we can better give consumers an understanding of their healthcare insurance as they keep track of their balances through our service."

Maintaining good records and on-time payments even for health insurance is vital because health care can be costly, Schinella said.

"It is important to make sure you're up to date on what your insurance is covering and what you might be paying out of pocket," he said.

Changes in health insurance laws and premiums are often complicated and confusing to consumers.

The report also found that most Americans are confused regarding the penalty amounts, which are the greater of $95 or 1% of household income above the filing threshold ($10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for families).

"One of the key questions surrounding the Affordable Care Act is whether or not young Americans – especially healthy young Americans – will sign up for health insurance," said Laura Adams,'s senior analyst. "This research sheds a positive light on that segment of the population. However, it's concerning that about three in 10 Americans still don't know about the possible fines."

For an individual who earns $30,000 per year, the penalty would be $200. Only 21% of Americans who know that uninsured people will be fined correctly pegged the amount between $100 and $250 while 38% overestimated and 36% underestimated.

For an individual who earns $75,000 per year, the penalty would be $650. Only 21% of Americans who know about fines correctly pegged the amount between $500 and $1,000 with 46% who underestimated and 29% overestimated.

Many consumers are uninformed regarding how to pay the penalty. Only 64% correctly said the fine would come from their federal income tax refund.

—Written by Ellen Chang for MainStreet

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