Thanks, Obama! Up to Two Million ObamaCare Enrollees to be Questioned on Eligibility for Subsidies

Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 at 6:46 am

We assume this is why Obama decided the debate was over all by himself. Do not ask any questions. Besides, he’s still busy golfing.

The Obama administration is contacting hundreds of thousands of people with subsidized health insurance to resolve questions about their eligibility, as consumer advocates express concern that many will be required to repay some or all of the subsidies.

Of the eight million people who signed up for private health plans through insurance exchanges under the new health care law, two million reported personal information that differed from data in government records, according to federal officials and Serco, the company hired to resolve such inconsistencies.

The government is asking consumers for additional documents to verify their income, citizenship, immigration status and Social Security numbers, as well as any health coverage that they may have from employers. People who do not provide the information risk losing their subsidized coverage and may have to repay subsidies next April.

Federal subsidies for the purchase of private insurance are a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act. More than eight out of 10 people who selected health plans through the exchanges from October through mid-April were eligible for subsidies, including income tax credits. So far this year the federal government has paid out $4.7 billion in subsidies, and the amount is expected to total $900 billion over 10 years.

Since June 1, the government has notified hundreds of thousands of people that “the information in your application doesn’t match what we found in other records.” Accordingly, the notice says, “you need to follow up as soon as possible and provide more documents to make sure the marketplace has the correct information.”

“If you don’t send the needed documents,” it says, “you risk losing your marketplace coverage or help you may be receiving to pay for such coverage.”

The government has a long list of documents that consumers can use to establish their eligibility. These include copies of birth certificates, Social Security cards, high school diplomas, driver’s licenses, pay stubs and voter registration cards.

When Republicans suggest similar means of simple identification to vote it’s racist.

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3 Responses to “Thanks, Obama! Up to Two Million ObamaCare Enrollees to be Questioned on Eligibility for Subsidies”

  1. S2 on 16/16/14 at 12:04 pm

    My wife, two kids and I all born in US- Have sent copies of my drivers license and birth certs and SS cards twice and just told to do it again or risk losing coverage. both kids are liver transplant recipients so NO WAY can I risk not being covered. Never even ever left the county in our lives. Maddening- had to buy identity protection to be able to sleep at night.

  2. jaed on 16/16/14 at 8:18 pm

    Most of these people are having problems because their income doesn’t match the “government records” of their income. The problem with this is that the subsidies are based on 2014 income, and the “government records” are their 2012 or 2013 income tax returns. Subsidy recipients were required to guess what their 2014 income would be at the time of purchasing insurance – for many of them, that was before 2014 even started, much less ended.

    For people like the government officials who drew up these rules, that makes perfect sense. Everyone who’s anyone has a salaried job, steady work, with no layoffs or cuts in hours, no moonlighting, no taking a second job. Every year brings a mandated step increase. Promotions and bonuses are usually predictable. Naturally, everyone is expected to know what their income will be over the next year! And you can take 2012’s income and add a few percent to get 2014’s income.

    Here in the rest of the working world, it’s not that simple. Even salaried workers don’t have an income that assured from year to year, and hourly workers of course may work more or fewer hours, may have their maximum hours cut to 29, may change jobs, may work seasonally so their income varies from month to month, and so on. (God help you if you’re self-employed.)

    So they tell you there are “discrepancies” and they want “pay stubs” as proof of your income. And if you don’t get “pay stubs” or your income for the spring is higher than it’s going to be for the rest of the year, I guess that’s too bad.

    Just when I think there are no more ACA clusterfucks to be found, here comes another one.