Obamacare Verification Deadline Approaches; Many at Risk of Losing Coverage
Hispanics in Florida and Texas Particularly Hit
(Washington, D.C.) – Last week the Department of Health and Human Services started sending notices to an estimated 310,000 individuals whose citizenship or immigration details have not been verified as part of the requirements for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The fast approaching deadline to verify their legal status is September 5th at which time those whose documentation is not verified will lose coverage on September 30th. The inconsistency between data on an individual application and government records may affect many Hispanics who meet the qualifications for coverage, but whose information now present a mismatch with official records. Up until the end of the open enrollment period, the Administration made a concerted effort to sign-up because they have historically been the most uninsured demographic in the United States, and are primarily a young and healthy group that help subsidize the older and sicker general population.
Florida and Texas, both states with large Hispanic communities, top the list of unresolved cases with almost half of the notified individuals coming from those states. Virginia, also with a sizeable Latino population, joins them in the top five along with Pennsylvania and Georgia. The status of the applications and eligibility of individuals in states that are running their own exchanges remains unclear as states continue to deal with their own backlog of applications and flawed websites, as is the case for Nevada.
Jorge Lima, Policy Director for The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
"Thousands of Americans, many of them Hispanics, are having to deal with yet another instance of government mismanagement. The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, promised to simplify the insurance process and make healthcare easier to navigate. However, the current situation is anything but, and now many who qualify for their coverage are at risk of losing it due to data inconsistencies.
The government's implementation of Obamacare has shown that you can't improve health care in America with a one-size-fits-all mandate. Websites that don't work, rising insurance premiums and reduced access to care and doctors are symptoms indicative of what happens when government overreaches and interferes in people's healthcare decisions. It's no wonder that many, especially Latinos on whom a large part of the law's success relies on, are disillusioned by the continued stumbles of Obamacare."