ObamaCare enrollment numbers are about to get lighter as the Administration is forced to kick off their plans more than 100,000 Americans, who signed up for coverage but have yet to prove eligibility.
It’s a positive step that this Administration is now following through on promises to fix problems from last year’s open enrollment period. Remember, the President and his bureaucratic army conducted quite the dog-and-pony shows across the country –wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on a ridiculous PR campaign– to get (young) Americans to enroll and then unilaterally extended the open enrollment period to get as many people onto the ObamaCare barge as possible.
Recently, we reported that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent letters to 310,000 consumers two weeks ago telling them that they needed to submit proof of their citizenship or immigration status by September 5. If they didn’t, their ObamaCare insurance plan would be cancelled at the end of September.
The government has yet to hear from more than 100,000 applicants who at this point may be saying "bye-bye" to their plans. The problem is that some consumers claim they have already submitted documentation. Agents and others who assisted immigrants with applications say they know their documentation was submitted during enrollment but website glitches have fouled up the process.
The next batch of applications under the microscope are those with income-related problems, which effects not just the price customers pay every month in premiums but the taxpayer-backed subsidies for which 80 percent of ObamaCare applicants qualified.
The Daily Caller reports:
Out of close to 1 million Obamacare sign-ups whose citizenship and immigration information didn’t match current federal records, the Obama administration has addressed 851,000. The remaining 115,000 customers that never submitted documents proving their legal residence will be kicked off their coverage on Sept. 30. The administration did not admit how many “addressed” applications resulted in customers being kicked off coverage because their citizenship or immigration status disqualified them from Obamacare eligibility.
While it’s finally making progress on citizenship problems in applications, the administration is just now getting around to sending out notices about income-related problems, which could significantly impact the price customers pay every month.
Today, CMS began sending out notices to HealthCare.gov customers who submitted income data on their application that did not match federal data and will require a response by Sept. 30. If customers don’t respond by the quick deadline, the cost of their health insurance will probably change, likely adding onto their costs.
“This may impact the cost of their monthly premium, deductibles, copays, and co-insurance, and even their tax bill or refund during filing season,” CMS officials warned in a statement.
At the end of May, CMS had documented income-related data problems for 1.6 million people out of HealthCare.gov’s 5.4 million sign-ups at the end of the first enrollment period. Months later, 363,000 individuals still have problems that could cause federal officials to cut their premium and cost-sharing subsidies.
After open enrollment closed, the Administration celebrated beating amended enrollment estimates and signing up eight million Americans. Like many others, we’ve always held that there should be a big asterisk beside that number for the millions of people who had not paid their first month’s premiums. Almost as big a problem are those who have not verified that they actually qualify for coverage and subsidies.
Now that the dust has settled, one of many things is clear. Enrollment is actually lower than the Administration is willing to share. They have been noticeably tight-lipped about accurate numbers. Between those who have yet to submit immigration and income documentation, as many as half a million people may see their coverage disappear.
We don’t celebrate these Americans losing coverage, but highlight that ObamaCare is not the only or best answer to a lack of access to affordable healthcare in this country. If it were as affordable as its formal name suggests, Americans would qualify without taxpayer-back subsidies for the plans.
There will be a rippling impact on all of those with ObamaCare and in the individual healthcare market as insurers adjust to pools of enrollees who have different health and payment profiles than they anticipated.
Eyes are on how ObamaCare is performing and how the Administration is handling it. With the next open enrollment season just around the corner, we’ll continue to watch the impact of ObamaCare on the lives of regular people and it should be a reminder that ObamaCare is neither the only option nor the best option for Americans. It’s a bad deal for individuals, for young people, and for taxpayers.