Although the enrollment period for the federal health insurance exchange has so far been much smoother than last year, legal immigrants have been dealing with a particular hiccup, reported the Associated Press.
Healthcare.gov currently has no way for legal immigrants to provide their green card information, which proves they're entitled to benefits under the Affordable Care Act.
The Obama administration is aware of the problem and says it's already addressing it. "We are working to make it clear that consumers with any type of immigration issue can upload any form that is requested, including a copy of their green card," administration spokesman Aaron Albright told the AP.
That's not the only problem facing Latinos and other legal immigrants. Although the Department of Health and Human Services has simplified the sign-up process and created a shorter application on Healthcare.gov, legal immigrants can't use the improved website version. Because they must provide additional identity verification, they still have to go through almost 80 screens--instead of just 16 screens for typical consumers--to enroll in an exchange plan.
Meanwhile, President Obama is likely about to block undocumented immigrants from being eligible to receive federal subsidies. He plans to use his executive authority to offer work permits to up to 5 million people who are in the country illegally, an official familiar with the decision told The New York Times.
That means insurers would lose out on the opportunity to potentially enroll millions of new members into their exchange plans.