By Dan Cook
A new and vulnerable demographic is suffering health insurance website trauma. Immigrants and others who must submit proof of U.S. residence status to the government are under a tight deadline to do so, but many have been stymied by a website that can’t or won’t accept their data.
USA Today reported health coverage for “hundreds of thousands” of such people under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act could be at risk because of computer glitches
Letters went out informing 310,000 people that they needed to submit further documentation to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by Sept. 5. Unless they meet the deadline, they stand to lose their coverage.
The paper talked to advocates for immigrants, and found many encountered serious obstacles when they tried to submit information via HealthCare.gov.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told USA Today that “letters were sent only to people for whom the government has no citizenship or immigration documentation.”
But USA Today talked to several sources who insisted the letters went to many people who had already submitted the necessary information.
One of these sources, Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, cited myriad problems with the process, which, she said, extended beyond Healthcare.gov. Identities have been confused, she said, pointing specifically to the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration as culprits in the confusion.
Another source told USA Today that those who received the letter are panicking as the deadline draws near, and they remain unable to upload their documentation.
“It’s scary because they’ve sent it in numerous times and different ways, and [CMS] is saying it doesn’t have it,” Ronnell Nolan, head of Health Agents for America, told USA Today. “What are all those people going to do? It’s going to be a mess.”
Originally published on BenefitsPro.com