Health care coverage for 6,900 in La. in jeopardy

About 6,900 Louisiana residents who bought insurance through President Barack Obama’s health care law could have their coverage canceled if they don’t send citizenship and immigration documents to confirm their eligibility by Sept. 5. Louisiana ranks 10th on the amount of letters being sent out.

The Obama administration said Tuesday that letters are going out to about 310,000 people whose citizenship or immigration details don’t match what the government has on file.

These consumers need to send in their documentation by Sept. 5. Otherwise their coverage will end Sept. 30.

Of the 8 million people who signed up for private coverage from the federal marketplace, more than 2 million at one point had discrepancies of some sort that affected their eligibility. That number has been greatly reduced — but the remaining cases are proving difficult to resolve.

People living in the country illegally are not allowed to get coverage. Officials at the Health and Human Services Department said the letters will notify consumers with unresolved citizenship and immigration issues that they can upload their documents to the healthcare.gov website, or mail them in.

Most haven’t responded to repeated outreach efforts, officials said. Hispanics, who historically have lagged in health insurance coverage, may account for a big share of the group.

Indeed, two states with large Latino populations top the list of unresolved cases. Florida has 93,800 cases, while Texas has 52,700. Georgia, Virginia and Pennsylvania round out the top five. The letters are being sent in English and Spanish.

The next five states are North Carolina, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and Louisiana.

The new policy affects the 36 states where the federal government has taken the lead in running online insurance markets created by the law. It’s unclear how it will apply in places like California and New York, which are running their own insurance exchanges.