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Anthem Insurance No Longer Accepts Credit Cards?

Very interesting update from Anthem Blue Cross as they announce they no longer accept credit cards according to the article "Using Plastic to Pay Anthem Bill?  Prepare to Lose Your Coverage" by David Lazarus on The LA Times website.  Anthem has made the decision to no longer accept automatic payments with credit cards.  This is causing huge inconveniences for many customers and policies are actually being cancelled because of this.

Anthem life insurance and health insurance policies are known for their quality benefits and good customer service, but this change to their payment system isn't very customer-friendly.  Customers who choose to still pay with a credit card can do so by calling their customer service representative, but it will cost them a $15 processing fee which is too steep for many customers.  Anthem has not commented on their rationale, but some experts speculate it could be a way to cut costs since credit cards cost money to accept.  It could also be a way for the insurer to eliminate customers that can only afford to pay with credit card since they may be at higher risk of missing premium payments.

The insurance company said it would reconsider the $15 fee once California law was brought to their attention which says no businesses "in any sales, service or lease transaction with a consumer may impose a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check or similar means."  Attorney General Kamala D. Harris says state officials are keeping an eye on the situation and they want to make sure consumers are protected.  With so many customers wanting to pay by credit card, it could end up affecting a lot of policies, making it harder for these individuals to obtain coverage.

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