Covered Calif. Asks Some Enrollees To Verify Lawful Presence in U.S.
Covered California officials say the state's insurance exchange will follow the federal government's example and require some enrollees to verify their lawful presence in the country in order to retain health insurance they obtained through the marketplace, KQED's "State of Health" reports.
Last month, HHS' Office of Inspector General released a report finding that the federal government and Covered California failed to properly verify eligibility for exchange enrollees, including by not always verifying U.S. citizenship (Brooks, "State of Health," KQED, 8/14).
On Tuesday, CMS sent letters to about 310,000 U.S. residents who enrolled in coverage through the federal insurance exchange warning that if they do no submit documents to verify their citizenship or immigration statuses by Sept. 5, they could lose the coverage they purchased through the federal health insurance exchange.
According to CMS spokesperson Aaron Albright, the individuals receiving the letters already had been contacted on average five to seven times for the information but had not yet responded to the requests.
Albright noted that no one has had coverage terminated because of citizenship or immigrations statuses so far (California Healthline, 8/13).
The move did not affect state-run exchanges, such as Covered California.
Details of Calif. Exchange's Decision
Covered California spokesperson Roy Kennedy has said that the state later this month will mail letters to individuals who enrolled through the state exchange but have been "identified as not having provided sufficient evidence of lawful presence." The state has not disclosed how many individuals will need to resubmit verification of their lawful residence.
Residents who receive the letters will have 30 days to submit such verification, which Kennedy said could include:
- Certificates of naturalization;
- Permanent residence cards;
- Social Security cards; and
- Other documents.
Kennedy said the documents can be uploaded through the exchange website or submitted to an enrollment counselor or insurance agent.
Individuals who do not respond to the letters risk losing their coverage and having to repay any federal subsidies they received for health insurance through Covered California, according to Kennedy ("State of Health," KQED, 8/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.