Thousands of consumers in danger of losing ‘Obamacare’ health insurance or financial aid for it

SHARE Thousands of consumers in danger of losing ‘Obamacare’ health insurance or financial aid for it

The federal government said about 280,000 households nationwide that have income-related discrepancies risk losing financial aid for their ‘Obamacare’-purchased health insurance premiums if they do not clarify how much they make.

A total of 363,000 individuals in these households would be able to keep their health insurance, even if they don’t provide necessary documentation to the government by Sept. 30. But their financial aid provided by the Obama administration could be suspended or adjusted come November. No Illinois data was immediately available.

The U.S. Health and Human Services says these people reported income that did not match what the government has on record.

In addition, roughly 115,000 individuals, including 4,000 in Illinois, will lose their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act on Sept. 30, because they have not verified that they are living in the United States legally, HHS said.

The administration says it has been trying through mail, email, and phone to resolve questions about the eligibility of hundreds of thousands of people, including 10,300 in Illinois, who signed up for private health plans through the new insurance exchanges and qualified for federal subsidies to help with the cost. They were given until Sept. 5 to prove their citizenship.

But some, like immigration groups, have cited technological issues with the federal as part of the reason people with citizenship and income discrepancies have not been able to provide the necessary documentation.

Nearly 9 out of 10 people who bought coverage through the Affordable Care Act also got financial aid to help pay for it.

HHS could not provide specifics on what percentage of the 279,000 households appeared to have reported higher incomes than was found in the government record.

The government will send letters starting today to individuals who, if they do not send in supporting documents by September 30, may see their costs change. Those who submit information that confirms their eligibility after the deadline may be eligible for a special enrollment period to enroll in coverage.

“If people are willing to pay their premiums and demonstrate they are eligible for coverage,” they can “continue to be enrolled,” Andrew Slavitt,Principal Deputy Administrator at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said in a conference call.

A total of 1.2 million households had income-related discrepancies as of May 30, HHS said. Of those, 897,000 have been resolved.

Of the 10,300 in Illinois who were in danger of losing their insurance for lack of documentation on citizenship, about 6,000 were resolved. No further information on whether these 6,000 people qualified to keep their health insurance was immediately provided.

The Affordable Care Act allows only “lawfully present” immigrants to buy insurance through the new exchanges.

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