Obamacare September 5 Deadline

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2014

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, 213-400-7822, delatorre@nilc.org

Hundreds of Thousands Risk Losing Health Coverage

Advocates say immigrants were not properly informed of need for additional verification

WASHINGTON — More than 200,000 families must submit additional information to the government by the end of the day today to verify their immigration or citizenship status. Failure to do so could cut off the coverage they purchased on federal health insurance exchanges.

This new deadline is the latest in a series of governmental gaffes over the online application system, identity verification, language access, and enrollment hurdles, and advocates are calling upon the government to keep families from losing coverage while people update their information. Below is a statement from Jenny Rejeske, health policy analyst for the National Immigration Law Center:

“Immigrant families overcame many logistical and technological challenges to enroll themselves and their families in affordable health coverage through the federal exchanges. Their actions are good for everyone: when more people have access to health coverage, everybody’s health improves.

“But some logistical and technological problems have not yet been fixed, and the federal government has failed to provide adequate notice to people who speak languages other than English or Spanish. Too many people have complied with the requests to submit more information but still are told there are problems. And too many are still unaware of what they need to do to avoid losing their health insurance because of the government’s failure to communicate with them in a language they can understand.

“That’s why it’s so befuddling that the government has threatened to stop coverage for so many people when it hasn’t fully fixed its own systems. These actions are irresponsible and harmful, and detract from the central promise of Obamacare.

“Immigrant families who received a notice to submit additional information should know that it’s not too late to send in their information. We urge the administration to work with families and advocates to collect the information they need without cutting people out of coverage. However, the government shouldn’t impose such draconian measures upon people who overcame challenge after challenge to enroll, and whom the government’s system is still failing.”

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