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Thousands in Texas Must Prove Immigration Status to Keep Health Coverage
The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services is telling people they have until Sept. 30 to prove their citizenship or immigration status, or else lose health coverage.

The number of people in Texas without health insurance has declined by less than half a percentage point since implementation of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report out by the Census Bureau. The number dropped from 22.5 percent in 2012 to 22.1 percent in 2013.

Now, some of the people who recently got coverage may lose it.

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services is telling people they have until the end of this month to prove their citizenship or immigration status. Otherwise they may not be allowed to remain enrolled in a health insurance plan selected via the federal marketplace.

According to the CMS, 19,600 people in Texas haven’t responded to requests to present their documents.

"Let me affirm: If people are willing to pay their premiums, and they’re eligible for coverage, they will continue to get coverage," says Andy Slavitt, an administrator with CMS. He says all together in the U.S., 115,000 people will lose coverage if they don’t submit proof of citizenship or immigration status by Sept. 30.

If they submit their information and confirm their eligibility after the deadline, they may be eligible for a special enrollment period. CMS is also notifying people who haven’t confirmed their income eligibility for tax subsidies. If they don’t, their premiums may increase in October.

Some consumers have said they received notices in English, a language they don’t understand.

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