Politics

Obamacare: 93,800 Florida ACA Customers Have Immigration ‘Inconsistencies’

By: William Patrick FloridaWatchdog.org | Posted: August 18, 2014 3:55 AM
Healthcare

Almost 100,000 Floridians who signed up for health insurance through the federal health exchange have citizenship or immigration “inconsistencies,” according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

CMS said Tuesday it is sending notices to Obamacare “consumers” whose Social Security numbers, permanent residency card numbers or other related information is either missing from their applications or different than what the government has on file.

The notices tell the exchange participants they have until Sept. 5 to verify their legal status or lose coverage by Sept. 30.

Open enrollment for 2015, however, begins Nov. 15.

Under Obamacare, undocumented immigrants are not supposed to receive health insurance coverage or government subsidies -- 91 percent of Florida’s total enrollees receive federal tax credits paid directly to insurance companies, Watchdog previously reported.

An application discrepancy doesn’t necessarily mean an enrollee is ineligible, CMS said . But it does raise the possibility.

While the Obama administration is working to solve the inconsistencies, Watchdog was told none of the resolved cases resulted in terminated coverage. It’s unclear whether pending cases will be exempt from the Sept. 5 deadline.

The 310,000 enrollees from across the country who received notices this week failed to respond to multiple previous attempts by CMS to verify citizenship or immigration application information. It’s unknown how many are receiving federal tax credits.

“The (federal health exchange) has asked consumers five to seven times -- via mail, phone and email -- to submit their information,” CMS said in a statement.

Of those receiving notices, Florida ranks first among the 36 states with federally run health exchanges with 93,800 enrollees yet to comply. Texas, the next highest state, has approximately 52,700.

“We will continue our outreach to these individuals with two more calls and one more email (asking) about citizenship and immigration documents before the Sept. 5 deadline,” the Aug. 12 statement reads.

The notices appear in both English and Spanish.

“Since this is an urgent matter, we are activating our networks on the ground to reach people directly in the communities where they live,” CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said.

Obamacare participants with outstanding income verification issues will be contacted at some future date, CMS said.



William Patrick covers government waste, fraud and abuse for Watchdog.org's Florida bureau. His work has appeared on numerous media websites, including Fox News and the Drudge Report. wpatrick@watchdog.org


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