Covered California Clears Most Consumers Who Were Missing Documents to Prove Lawful Presence
Pre-Termination Notices Will Be Sent Today To Fewer Than 11,000 People
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California announced Monday it has been able to clear the citizenship/lawful presence status of the vast majority of individuals who were sent notices seeking verification documents in September, meaning that pre-termination notices will be sent today to cases involving only 10,474 people.
“While we hope that in the end no one who is eligible loses coverage, we are appreciative that so many individuals submitted documents to verify their citizenship or immigration status, meaning their coverage will remain in place,” Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said. “For the remaining group, we are required by law to begin the process of termination. Even for them, we are establishing processes so they can keep their coverage if they demonstrate their legal status.”
Of the 98,900 families, representing more than 148,000 individuals, who received multiple notices starting in September informing them of the need for citizenship or immigration status verification, 9,645 families did not provide documentation. This means that Covered California is initiating termination processes for the health coverage for the 10,474 people in those families. They will be sent pre-termination notices by Covered California starting today. The notices will give individuals information about how they can have their coverage reinstated if they can prove their citizenship/lawful presence status. Final termination notices will be sent by the health plans in which they enrolled.
Covered California received proof of legal status for more than 82,000 families, representing 130,105 individuals. Covered California continues to review case information involving 6,670 families, including 7,629 people, who have attempted to verify citizenship or immigration status.
Lee emphasized that the lack of verification does not necessarily mean that the individual is not lawfully present, only that Covered California does not have documents it needs to verify their status.
“Our goal is to continue coverage for anyone who is lawfully present,” Lee said. “We are hopeful that anyone receiving these notices will respond by providing appropriate documents so we can work with them to ensure their ongoing eligibility for health coverage,” he said.
In early September, Covered California sent letters to 98,900 families including approximately 148,000 people to resolve eligibility inconsistencies in their 2014 enrollment documents. Consumers were asked to submit documents showing they are lawfully present in the United States as U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or individuals with eligible immigration status in order to continue their health insurance through Covered California.
Lee praised the many individuals who helped reach out to enrollees, including agents and certified enrollment counselors, to ensure that the needed documents were submitted. Other documents were located during intensive case work by Covered California staff. Lee said the small proportion of terminations also was the product of Covered California’s aggressive outreach via mail, email and outreach to Californians in multilingual interviews with the news media.
“A great deal of intensive work was done in a very short period of time, and we are pleased with the results, although we still have work to do for the individuals getting these notices,” Lee said.
About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.
Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the governor and the Legislature. For more information about Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.