Thousands of Pa. residents could lose health insurance
Ben Allen, WITF General Assignment Reporter | 08.21.14
About 12,600 Pennsylvania residents are in danger of losing health coverage through the federal Affordable Care Act Marketplace if they don't act by September 5th.
That's because data those people entered when applying for health coverage through the Marketplace doesn't match records in the federal government's systems.
The Department of Health and Human Services says it has already emailed, called and sent letters to people affected at least 5 times.
"Maybe folks used their nickname instead of their full name or they mistyped a number from their identification into the system and its triggered that. So I think most folks have already gone through the process and understand that they need to provide that documentation," says Antoinette Kraus, Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network.
She says they have counselors and other non-profits on the case here too.
"Might have their phone numbers changed a lot or move around a lot or you know, are low literacy. It's really an all hands on deck approach to help reach these folks to make sure that they don't lose coverage."
Kraus says counselors are available to help people one-on-one in resolving any situations with the federal health care exchange and encourages anyone to call their hotline: 877-570-3642. Documents required to resolve the data mismatch could include a passport, driver's license, birth certificate or a voter registration card.
A federal official says they've been adding staff in the call center, and have experienced more calls in the past couple weeks. However, the official could not offer any specific numbers on calls received or staffing patterns.
Those who miss the September 5th deadline should still submit their information; they'll have 60 days from September 30th to re-enroll during a special enrollment period. The Department of Health and Human Services says it will contact people at least 3 more times before the deadline as well.
A federal official says there are no plans to extend the deadline.