About 3,800 Louisiana residents who bought health insurance through the Affordable Care Act will have their coverage canceled Sept. 30 because they didn’t clear up their citizenship and immigration status by Sept. 5, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
In August, CMS notified about 6,900 people in Louisiana that they needed to confirm their eligibility or lose the health coverage they bought through President Barack Obama’s health care law. They were among roughly 310,000 people nationwide who got letters requesting their citizenship and immigration documents. Many of those people received multiple requests for the information, according to CMS. As many as 115,000 people nationwide could lose their coverage because they didn’t validate their citizenship or immigration status.
Some 8 million people nationally bought coverage through the federal online insurance marketplace. At one point, more than 2 million of those people had issues of some sort affecting their eligibility. Most of those discrepancies have been addressed, but the remaining cases have been difficult to resolve.
People living in the country illegally are not allowed to buy coverage through the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”
Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said many haven’t responded to requests for citizenship and immigration documents despite repeated efforts.
Hispanics historically have lagged in health insurance coverage and are thought to account for a big share of the group that didn’t respond.
The immigration letters were sent out in Louisiana and 35 other states where the federal government is running online insurance markets created by the law. In California, which has its own exchange, close to 100,000 residents hadn’t confirmed their legal presence in the country. California officials have said they will require those people to verify they are in the United States legally.
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