More than 20,000 Georgians have until next Friday to provide missing information or they will lose their insurance exchange coverage Sept. 30. The regional...

More than 20,000 Georgians have until next Friday to provide missing information or they will lose their insurance exchange coverage Sept. 30.

Renard Murray

Renard Murray

The regional administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told GHN on Friday that most of the data discrepancies involve immigration or citizenship issues.

Letters requesting further information were mailed earlier in August to 310,000 people in three dozen states that have their insurance exchange run by the federal government. The exchanges were created under the Affordable Care Act.

Georgia’s total of 20,900 people getting the notices was the third-highest total in the nation, after Florida’s 93,800 and Texas’ 52,700.

Renard Murray, the regional CMS administrator, said the federal agency has been working on getting this information for months, and that as many as seven letters requesting data have been sent to some people.

The missing data “could be something very simple,’’ he said.

Many people nationally have responded, with thousands of documents being received every day, according to CMS. Murray said he did not have a specific number of how many of the 20,900 Georgia cases have been resolved since the warning letters were sent.

The discrepancies affect people who purchased coverage through the exchange during the six-month open enrollment period ending March 31. More than 316,000 Georgians signed up for coverage in the exchange.

CMS said that nationally, it had roughly 970,000 people with citizenship or immigration data-matching errors in May. Marilyn Tavenner, the CMS administrator, said earlier this month that CMS had closed about 450,000 of these cases and was in the process of handling an additional 210,000 cases.

Alex Dombronovich, spokeswoman for Georgia’s Get Covered America campaign, said that much of the outreach is directed to the Latino immigrant community because it’s larger than other immigrant groups in the state. But the effort “isn’t isolated to Latinos,’’ she said.

“We are asking people not to panic,’’ Dombronovich said. “It’s information that needs to be updated.”

The CMS letter urges consumers to upload the needed documents to their account at healthcare.gov or send them to a government address in Kentucky no later than Sept. 5.

People with questions or in need of help can call a federal call center at 1-800-318-2596, the letter says.


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Andy Miller

Andy Miller is editor and CEO of Georgia Health News

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