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State health exchange averts termination of most coverage plans

on October 20, 2014

Covered California, the state’s public health exchange, said that it cleared the legal residency status of most individuals who received notices last month requiring documentation of their status in order to continue their health insurance coverage.

In early September, roughly 27,000 letters went to Bay Area families notifying them that Covered California planned to end their coverage because they didn’t submit timely documents proving legal residence in the state.

The exchange said it plans to terminate coverage for 2,212 individuals living in the San Francisco Bay Area, out of 10,474 individuals to be terminated statewide by Nov. 1. The balance of the cases have been resolved, said Wendy McAnelly, Covered California’s information officer in an interview.

“While we hope that in the end no one who is eligible loses coverage, we are appreciative that so many individuals submitted documents to verify their citizenship or immigration status, meaning their coverage will remain in place,” said Peter Lee, executive director for Covered California, in a statement.

McAnelly said that Covered California will offer support for the 2,212 Bay Area residents whose coverage will be terminated. “If these consumers were to submit the required documentation to verify their lawful presence status, we will work with the consumers to reinstate their coverage,” McAnelly said.

Covered California is now gearing up for open enrollment, which begins Nov. 15 and concludes Feb. 1. During the last open enrollment period, many individuals had trouble accessing the Covered California website. To prevent this, Covered California said it has upgraded its digital infrastructure. It also has doubled the number of customer service representatives and offered support in many languages.

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