Dear Colleagues and Interested Parties:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 4, 2014
COVERED CALIFORNIA REACHES OUT TO
THOUSANDS OF CONSUMERS WHO HAVE LIMITED TIME TO CLARIFY THEIR LAWFUL PRESENCE IN CALIFORNIA
Agents, Counselors and Community Organizations Will Help Educate Enrollees That Citizenship and Immigration Documents
Must Be Submitted, or the Consumers Risk Losing Coverage
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California is contacting about 98,000 families that must resolve eligibility inconsistencies in their 2014 enrollment documents.
The consumers will need 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. Notices are being mailed and emailed to consumers beginning this week. If proper proof is not provided by Sept. 30, 2014, these individuals risk termination of health coverage.
“We want to clear these inconsistencies so that our consumers can have a smoother renewal process without any interruption in their coverage,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “We’re implementing a multi-touch, multi-channel outreach approach to notify individuals who risk losing coverage.”
Covered California has been working to clear inconsistencies. To date, more than 700,000 documents have been verified and processed.
Documents submitted by consumers will be treated confidentially and will be used only to determine the consumers’ eligibility for health insurance programs and will not be used for immigration enforcement.
Lee said some consumers may have previously provided Covered California the required documents, but the agency could not reconcile the information to verify citizenship or immigration status. For example, some documents were illegible, and in some cases two pieces of proof were needed, but only one document was sent, so the agency is requesting the documents be sent again.
The notices will provide consumers with a list of documents they can send to prove their lawful presence. The notices will be delivered in English and Spanish, and help is also available in other languages.
Consumers also will be instructed on how to upload the documents to their account, send them via U.S. mail or fax them to (888) 329-3700. Additionally, thousands of partners, including Covered California Certified Insurance Agents, Certified Enrollment Counselors, Service Center representatives and county eligibility workers, will be available to help consumers submit the necessary documentation.
Lee stressed that consumers should act quickly to submit the requested documents.
“If we do not get your documents, Covered California must cancel your health insurance, along with any federal tax credit you may be receiving that lowers your monthly premiums,” Lee said. “If you have received tax credits, and your health insurance is canceled, you may have to repay those tax credits. If your health insurance is canceled, you may also have to pay a tax penalty.”
Qualifying documents that prove lawful presence include a U.S. passport; a certificate of naturalization (N-550/N-570); a certificate of citizenship (N-560/N-561); a U.S. public birth certificate; a driver’s license issued by a U.S. state or territory; an identification card issued by the federal, state or local government; a school identification card; a foreign passport; and a green card. A complete list will be offered at CoveredCA.com.
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 http://www.CoveredCA.com.