- Almost 94,000 Floridians have failed to submit documentation verifying that they are eligible to purchase healthcare insurance through the federal marketplace. Consumers must provide proof of citizenship in order to receive coverage.
- Florida is a microcosm for a larger national problem: The Obama administration announced last month that more than 300,000 individuals enrolled in ACA plans nationwide could lose their coverage by the end of September if they don't provide documentation proving that they are legal residents of the U.S. Floridians represent almost a third of individuals with incomplete verification.
- The agency has sent out over 250,000 follow-up letters nationwide demanding documentation. The deadline for submission is September 5; Those who do not meet the deadline will lose coverage at the end of September and will not be able to re-enroll until November.
Some of the missing paperwork may be attributable to undocumented immigrants who were not eligible to receive coverage in the first place. But legal residents whose information doesn't match up with data the HealthCare.gov site uses to verify applications may also be on the list. According to Renard Murray, regional director for the centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, a married person may also be impacted:
"The married name is different from what’s on the birth certificate or social security administration. There’s a name discrepancy there," Murray said. "So a person born in the U.S. with a name difference could be an issue as well."
Critics have noted for some time that HealthCare.gov doesn't do a good job of verifying applicants for eligibility. In fact, a June report from the Office of the Inspector General for HHS found "deficiencies" in controls intended to prevent fraudulent or incorrect information from being submitted by applicants to the federal ACA marketplace. To address the current eligibility question, CMS has been attempting to reach affected individuals via email, phone calls and letters in English and Spanish for several months, but it seems those efforts are falling short.
Want to read more? You may enjoy this story about how fake applicants obtained ACA coverage in an undercover GAO investigation.