/ Modified sep 22, 2014 10:18 a.m.

Thousands of Arizonans Face Temporary Loss of Obamacare

3,100 who purchased healthcare through federal marketplace must provide proof of legal residency.

Linda Williams and Patient SPOT Linda Williams, a physician at El Rio Community Health Clinic, performs a routine checkup on her patient.


Federal officials say 3,100 Arizonans could lose health insurance coverage purchased through the federal marketplace if they don't provide proof of citizenship or proof they are legal U.S. residents.

Many of the people affected probably provided the required documentation, but glitches in the Affordable Care Act system may have caused it not to process through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said Tara Plese, senior director for external affairs of the Arizona Alliance of Community Health Centers, which provides Obamacare enrollment assistance to those looking to sign up.

"It was very difficult getting that verification process to work correctly, so these people probably are legal and can get healthcare coverage on the marketplace but, as you know, there were a lot of problems with healthcare.gov, and this is one of them," she said.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has been sending letters to people who need to submit the required documentation. Those who don't provide proof will lose coverage by Sept. 30.

Plese advised those people to reach out to a marketplace navigator or an agency that provides enrollment assistance to ensure their documentation gets through this time.

"We would love to make sure that these people do get their healthcare coverage, but unless they call us and say, 'We need help with this,' we can't do anything because there are privacy restrictions," she said.

After the end of the month, people who lose coverage can re-enroll starting Nov. 15.

About 120,000 people in Arizona bought Obamacare policies from October through March 31.

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