Hundreds of Thousands May Lose Health Coverage

February 11, 2015

Adela de la Torre, [email protected], 213-400-7822

Obama Administration Ready to Boot Hundreds of Thousands from Health Coverage, Again

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced that up to 200,000 individuals would be stripped of their Affordable Care Act health plans on March 1 due to inconsistencies in their citizenship or immigration status information. This news comes months after the National Immigration Law Center and others filed administrative complaints and a Freedom of Information Act request to learn more about how individuals have been notified of inconsistencies, and whether these individuals were unfairly terminated due to language barriers. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“Hundreds of thousands of people stepped up and paid their premiums in an effort to comply with the individual mandate to have health insurance required by the Affordable Care Act. These people will now be unceremoniously booted from coverage, and there are dozens of unanswered questions as to why.

“It was a Sisyphean effort for the people who will now be losing their coverage on Feb. 28 to obtain it in the first place. These individuals dealt with numerous website glitches and complied with demands for additional documentation, often multiple times, simply to purchase the care they needed. They believe in the promise of the Affordable Care Act: that everyone is healthier if we all get covered. It is both frustrating and deeply saddening that administrative problems are preventing these people from keeping the coverage they worked so hard to obtain.

“Rather than terminate individual coverage, the Obama administration should work to ensure that no one eligible for coverage is dropped from his or her health plan. Furthermore, health care officials should send proper notices in the language that the recipient will actually understand.. Technical glitches and bureaucratic snafus should not result in hundreds of thousands of families losing vital health coverage.”

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