400,000 Immigrants Lose Obamacare Coverage They Had Last Year

AP Photo
Associated Press
Washington D.C.

New rules governing Obamacare eligibility have caused up to 400,000 immigrants to lose the coverage they thought they had under the President’s healthcare law, a new report says.

A change in the enforcement of amount of time allowing immigrants to resolve their eligibility issues has kicked some 423,000 immigrants out of the benefits they had earlier this year. The number who have lost their coverage could be even larger, though, as the reported number does not include immigrants who may have had similar problems in the state exchanges.

The eligibility rules give foreign-born residents a 95-day window to prove they are either legal residents or naturalized citizens during which time they are covered by Obamacare. But many are failing to clear up residency questions in the required time period and are therefore being kicked out of the program.

Advocates for the immigrants claim that most of those who have lost their Obamacare coverage are legal residents and should never have been forced out of the program.

Representatives for the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) insist that illegals would not be engaging in the system, so, they reason that those losing their coverage must be legal if they were risking alerting authorities to their status.

“Somebody who is trying to submit documents over and over … is someone who believes they have an eligible immigration status,” an NILC representative said.

Advocates also claim that many who are losing their coverage are confused by the requirements and don’t understand just what paperwork they need to turn in and that the government is providing little help in clearing up those questions.

“If it was clearer what the consumer needed to do, we wouldn’t have the numbers that we have,” the NILC representative said.

Another factor in the suddenly widespread loss of coverage, advocates say, is that the government wasn’t imposing the strict rules in the last few years, allowing immigrants to stay on insurance for a longer period of time, far past the 95-day limit. But now the time limits are being more strictly enforced.

Earlier this year, another 200,000 immigrants lost their Obamacare coverage because they couldn’t prove legal residency. This is in addition to the 112,000 who lost coverage for the same reason in 2014.

Detractors of Obamacare point out that these numbers make it clear that hundreds of thousands of illegal residents were getting Obamacare coverage despite that they didn’t qualify for it.

Worse, they say that the $3,000 penalty for legal employees encourages employers to hire illegals to avoid the fee compounding the problem.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com