Over 10,000 Californians to Lose Health Coverage

Over 10,000 Californians to Lose Health Coverage

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More than 10,000 Californians who purchased health insurance on Covered California are now in danger of losing it.

During the Open Enrollment period, a total of 1.4 million Californians bought insurance on Covered California, the state’s online health insurance marketplace.

On Sept. 1, Covered California began sending out notices to 148,000 California residents whose information at the time of applying for insurance did not match the information the government had on file. The notices asked them to prove their legal residency by Sept. 30 or face losing the coverage they had purchased on the exchange.

There are still 10,474 Californians who have not sent the required documents, according to an Oct. 13 statement by Covered California.

“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."

But Roy Kennedy, a Covered California spokesperson, said that those who receive the termination notice could still respond “immediately” by providing appropriate documents so they “don’t face a gap in coverage.”

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.

Nationwide, more than 300,000 people who had bought subsidized health insurance from the federal online marketplace, Healthcare.gov, were sent inconsistency notices. The majority responded satisfactorily.