Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) sent hundreds of thousands of notices to individuals, requesting they submit additional documentation to help resolve "data matching issues." The "data matching issues" or "inconsistencies" the federal agency is hoping to address involve the verification of citizenship/immigration information for about 310,000 individuals.
DHHS needs more information to verify the eligibility of these individuals in the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace. This does not necessarily mean that new enrollees are ineligible for insurance enrollment; rather, more information is needed to verify their application. Currently, the Federal Marketplace is working through these applications and sending out letters to verify or request information.
The notices, which have gone out by letter, email, text or phone call, should be taken seriously. Failure to submit required documentation by Sept. 5 could result in individuals losing health coverage on Sept. 30. Additionally, individuals may also be at risk of losing premium tax credits, having his/her tax credit status altered, losing cost-sharing assistance, or losing the financial assistance reimbursement s/he received from the government thus far.
This information is especially important for limited-English proficient (LEP) enrollees. While the notices are available in 15 languages, the complexity of the issue will require further explanation and assistance. The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) witnessed many of the challenges newly enrolled LEP enrollees faced in deciphering health insurance documents for the first time. AAPCHO, a national association of community health organizations serving Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, has been on the front lines of LEP enrollment in the federal exchanges and anticipates that added support is needed to help LEP enrollees understand these recent notices. We urge anyone working with LEP communities to encourage individuals to send in the appropriate documents by the Sept. 5 deadline.
Some resources from our partners may also be useful:
- The Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition, Inc. (SEAMAAC) produced downloadable resources and translated versions of the notice in Chinese, Vietnamese, Nepali, Karen, and Chin. They are available for download here: http://seamaac.org/category/health-insurance-obamacare.
- See page 22 for an Indonesian translation from an online newspaper here: http://www.kabarkilat.com.
How to resolve inconsistency issues:
- Call 1-800-318-2596, inform the representative that the individual received a data matching warning notice, and request the names of the documents needed to submit.
- Visit https://localhelp.healthcare.gov.
- Additional documents may be submitted to: https://www.healthcare.gov. Select the individual's current application, and upload the necessary documents. Do not use the following symbols when naming and filing documents: / \ : * ? " < > |. Doing so will result in an error message.
We urge you to act quickly as the Sept. 5 deadline is quickly approaching. You've worked hard to secure and enroll many communities in the Marketplace. Let's help ensure that our communities can retain the insurance they are entitled to.