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CMS checks eligibility of 310,000 immigrants who bought ACA plans


By Virgil Dickson
Posted: August 12, 2014 - 5:45 pm ET
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Some immigrants who signed up for insurance coverage via HealthCare.gov have been put on notice that they could lose their coverage unless they immediately furnish proof that they are legally qualified for coverage being offered on the marketplace.

The CMS sent out 310,000 letters Tuesday, giving the enrollees until Sept. 5 to send copies of green cards, proof of citizenship or other documents to show that they qualify for the coverage. If they do not, their coverage will end Sept. 30.

The individuals receiving the notices are those who have not responded to previous correspondence via mail, e-mail and phone. Some of the discrepancies the agency is concerned about include instances where information reported in a consumer's application, such as a Social Security or permanent resident card number, is incomplete or different than the information the government has on file.

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These inconsistencies do not necessarily mean there is a problem with an individual’s eligibility for enrollment; rather, it signifies that additional information is needed to verify the information provided in an application, the agency says.

In May, the agency discovered 970,000 people with citizenship or immigration data-matching errors. Since then, it’s closed about 450,000 of these cases and is settling another 210,000.

States that are running their own marketplaces are reconciling any data-matching issues separately.

In addition to the letters, which were dispatched in both English and Spanish, the CMS is relying on a network of partners, local assistors and other stakeholders, including community health centers, to help to get the word out.

“Whether it is online, via our call center, or with one of our local partners, consumers will have a number of ways to find the help they need to continue their coverage,” said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner in a statement.

Follow Virgil Dickson on Twitter: @MHvdickson


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