Big jump in number of immigrants losing health law coverage

The Associated Press (AP), Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
September 12, 2015

More than 400,000 had their insurance canceled because of immigration and citizenship issues, almost 4 times as many as last year.

Government officials say they are complying with the law at a more rapid pace, but advocates say that the process is broken.

The National Immigration Law Center believes that the system for verifying documents caused many immigrants to lose health coverage.

Angel Padilla, the center’s health policy analyst, said that immigrants without legal status wouldn’t be attempting to use the system and potentially calling attention to themselves from a federal agency.

“Somebody who is trying to submit documents over and over … is someone who believes they have an eligible immigration status,” Padilla said.

The time window for correcting document errors was 95 days. In 2014, there was no such time limit since Healthcare.Gov had just launched.

Padilla said a shorter time window might not be so much of a problem if the administration would clearly communicate which documents are needed. “If it was clearer what the consumer needed to do, we wouldn’t have the numbers that we have,” he said.

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Organizations mentioned/involved: National Immigration Law Center (NILC)
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