ACA coverage in jeopardy over legal status in U.S.

Documentation needed by midnight Friday

SAN ANTONIO – Thousands who signed up under the Affordable Care Act now risk losing their health coverage because they have not submitted documentation verifying their legal status in the U.S., according to the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services.

"They need to take action immediately," said Quiara Sherrard, chief revenue officer for CommuniCare Health Centers, part of the Enroll SA Coalition that signed up 76,414 people in Bexar and surrounding counties.

She said an unknown number of those received warning notices they must submit the documentation by midnight Friday, or lose their coverage at the end of the month.

In order to help avoid that, CommuniCare and CentroMed are extending their hours on Friday.

Jessica Campbell, certified application manager for CommuniCare, said its location at Interstate 10 & Callaghan Road will be open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at its clinic on Highway 90 & Cupples Road.  

She said walk-ins are welcome, or call 210-233-7157 to set an appointment.

Campbell said CentroMed will be taking appointments only that can be set up by calling 922-7000.

She said CentroMed will be open Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at its South Side clinic located at 3750 Commercial Avenue and at its location at 5542 Walzem Road.

Sherrard said if those at risk of losing coverage are not able to send or scan the needed documents by the midnight Friday deadline, "They need to speak to someone at the marketplace and let them know that they're going to send it as soon as possible."

She said they can call 1-800-318-2596 to do so.

Andrea Guajardo, an Enroll SA partner and director of community health for the Christus Santa Rosa Health System, said during the sign-up period, people were asked to provide their U.S. resident identification number in order to apply.

Guajardo said they were told to later submit the needed documents verifying their legal status, but they either forgot or failed to do so.

"I don't think that it was an issue with people trying to game the system or take advantage of the website," Guajardo said. "It's just the documentation that needs to confirm what's been put in the system."