The Obama administration has taken vital steps to cut off health insurance policies to about 310, 000 Americans who had actually enrolled through the HealthCare.gov system. These are people whose citizenship or immigration details have not yet been verified as part of the requirements for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The US Department of Health and Human Services started sending notices to more than 310,000 residents who had registered for health benefit plans via the federal online market place but have not yet responded to past requests for documents verifying their citizenship or immigration status. The final deadline to verify their legal status is scheduled on September 5th and those who fail to complete the health insurance verification process will lose coverage on September 30th. The notifications were sent only to those people for whom the government has no citizenship or immigration documentation.
The growing inconsistency between data related to individual application and government records may significantly impact the eligibility of several Hispanics. Many Hispanics who correctly meet the qualifications required for coverage become disqualified due to information mismatch with official records. The Obama administration made serious efforts to sign up this group (until the end of open enrollment period) because they have been the most uninsured demographic in the US and a typically young and healthy group that subsidize the older and sicker population.
Federal Healthcare.gov Site Hiccups
Even when the federal government has sent legal notices to more than 310,000 people, there remain several glitches in the federal Healthcare.gov site that create a tough time for people complying.
Millions of users face difficulties in using the website to shop for insurance. Serious problems lie within the system such as the difficulty to utilize the databases held by various federal agencies to check people’s eligibility for coverage. As per reports from immigration law experts and insurance agents, citizens are being forced to lock their information multiple times in the website and many are not able to access their accounts as well.
Federal officials state that the application system wasn’t able to identify the immigration and citizenship status of about 1 million people (out of 5.4 million who had signed for plans) during the open enrollment period closure in mid-April. The information provided in the application did not match with the federal government data on file.
The problems don’t lie with the consumers alone as the federal databases are outdated and have mismatched social security numbers and names. Many people have problems accessing their accounts as many of the passwords were changed in April (due to a security threat) causing confusion to the consumers. In certain cases, even if the accounts can be opened, documentation uploading causes problems.
Citizens who received notices should conduct a thorough check to identify the different health insurance verification documents required and then upload them through their marketplace accounts.