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300K warned to clarify immigration status for Obamacare coverage

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will begin a final round of notifications to submit immigration and citizenship documents or lose coverage under Obamacare.
By Gabrielle Levy   |   Aug. 12, 2014 at 4:30 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Thousands of people who signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act were warned this week that they may lose coverage if they don't submit citizenship and immigration documents.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced an effort Tuesday to warn some 310,000 consumers who have not responded to prior requests to submit the necessary proof of residency by September 5 or forfeit their coverage.

We want as many consumers as possible to remain enrolled in marketplace coverage, so we are giving these individuals a last chance to submit their documents before their coverage through the marketplace will end," said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner in a statement.

CMS said it has been working through almost 1 million citizenship or immigration "data-matching" errors since May, closing more than 450,000 with another 210,000 in progress.

Letters are sent in both English and Spanish to those who have not yet responded to phone, mail and email outreach. CMS said it would make three more attempts between now and September 5, and then it would send out cancellation notices.

The Department of Health and Human Service said it does not believe the problems are from fraud, and agency spokesman Aaron Albright said the cases already closed were resolved after citizenship or immigration status was verified. No one has yet lost coverage because of documentation issues, he said.

CMS said the push involves only those who enrolled through the federal Healthcare.gov exchange, not the state exchanges.

Follow @gabbilevy and @UPI on Twitter.
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