45 CFR § 155.315 - Verification process related to eligibility for enrollment in a QHP through the Exchange.

§ 155.315 Verification process related to eligibility for enrollment in a QHP through the Exchange.

(a)General requirement. Unless a request for modification is granted in accordance with paragraph (h) of this section, the Exchange must verify or obtain information as provided in this section in order to determine that an applicant is eligible for enrollment in a QHP through the Exchange.

(b)Validation of Social Security number.

(1) For any individual who provides his or her Social Security number to the Exchange, the Exchange must transmit the Social Security number and other identifying information to HHS, which will submit it to the Social Security Administration.

(2) To the extent that the Exchange is unable to validate an individual's Social Security number through the Social Security Administration, or the Social Security Administration indicates that the individual is deceased, the Exchange must follow the procedures specified in paragraph (f) of this section, except that the Exchange must provide the individual with a period of 90 days from the date on which the notice described in paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section is received for the applicant to provide satisfactory documentary evidence or resolve the inconsistency with the Social Security Administration. The date on which the notice is received means 5 days after the date on the notice, unless the individual demonstrates that he or she did not receive the notice within the 5 day period.

(c)Verification of citizenship, status as a national, or lawful presence -

(1)Verification with records from the Social Security Administration. For an applicant who attests to citizenship and has a Social Security number, the Exchange must transmit the applicant's Social Security number and other identifying information to HHS, which will submit it to the Social Security Administration.

(2)Verification with the records of the Department of Homeland Security. For an applicant who has documentation that can be verified through the Department of Homeland Security and who attests to lawful presence, or who attests to citizenship and for whom the Exchange cannot substantiate a claim of citizenship through the Social Security Administration, the Exchange must transmit information from the applicant's documentation and other identifying information to HHS, which will submit necessary information to the Department of Homeland Security for verification.

(3)Inconsistencies and inability to verify information. For an applicant who attests to citizenship, status as a national, or lawful presence, and for whom the Exchange cannot verify such attestation through the Social Security Administration or the Department of Homeland Security, the Exchange must follow the procedures specified in paragraph (f) of this section, except that the Exchange must provide the applicant with a period of 90 days from the date on which the notice described in paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section is received for the applicant to provide satisfactory documentary evidence or resolve the inconsistency with the Social Security Administration or the Department of Homeland Security, as applicable. The date on which the notice is received means 5 days after the date on the notice, unless the applicant demonstrates that he or she did not receive the notice within the 5 day period.

(d)Verification of residency. The Exchange must verify an applicant's attestation that he or she meets the standards of § 155.305(a)(3) as follows -

(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (d)(3) and (4) of this section, accept his or her attestation without further verification; or

(2) Examine electronic data sources that are available to the Exchange and which have been approved by HHS for this purpose, based on evidence showing that such data sources are sufficiently current and accurate, and minimize administrative costs and burdens.

(3) If information provided by an applicant regarding residency is not reasonably compatible with other information provided by the individual or in the records of the Exchange the Exchange must examine information in data sources that are available to the Exchange and which have been approved by HHS for this purpose, based on evidence showing that such data sources are sufficiently current and accurate.

(4) If the information in such data sources is not reasonably compatible with the information provided by the applicant, the Exchange must follow the procedures specified in paragraph (f) of this section. Evidence of immigration status may not be used to determine that an applicant is not a resident of the Exchange service area.

(e)Verification of incarceration status. The Exchange must verify an applicant's attestation that he or she meets the requirements of § 155.305(a)(2) by -

(1) Relying on any electronic data sources that are available to the Exchange and which have been approved by HHS for this purpose, based on evidence showing that such data sources are sufficiently current, accurate, and offer less administrative complexity than paper verification; or

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (e)(3) of this section, if an approved data source is unavailable, accepting his or her attestation without further verification.

(3) To the extent that an applicant's attestation is not reasonably compatible with information from approved data sources described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section or other information provided by the applicant or in the records of the Exchange, the Exchange must follow the procedures specified in § 155.315(f).

(f)Inconsistencies. Except as otherwise specified in this subpart, for an applicant for whom the Exchange cannot verify information required to determine eligibility for enrollment in a QHP through the Exchange, advance payments of the premium tax credit, and cost-sharing reductions, including when electronic data is required in accordance with this subpart but data for individuals relevant to the eligibility determination are not included in such data sources or when electronic data from IRS, DHS, or SSA is required but it is not reasonably expected that data sources will be available within 1 day of the initial request to the data source, the Exchange:

(1) Must make a reasonable effort to identify and address the causes of such inconsistency, including through typographical or other clerical errors, by contacting the application filer to confirm the accuracy of the information submitted by the application filer;

(2) If unable to resolve the inconsistency through the process described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section, must -

(i) Provide notice to the applicant regarding the inconsistency; and

(ii) Provide the applicant with a period of 90 days from the date on which the notice described in paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section is sent to the applicant to either present satisfactory documentary evidence via the channels available for the submission of an application, as described in § 155.405(c), except for by telephone through a call center, or otherwise resolve the inconsistency.

(3) May extend the period described in paragraph (f)(2)(ii) of this section for an applicant if the applicant demonstrates that a good faith effort has been made to obtain the required documentation during the period.

(4) During the periods described in paragraphs (f)(1) and (f)(2)(ii) of this section, must:

(i) Proceed with all other elements of eligibility determination using the applicant's attestation, and provide eligibility for enrollment in a QHP to the extent that an applicant is otherwise qualified; and

(ii) Ensure that advance payments of the premium tax credit and cost-sharing reductions are provided on behalf of an applicant within this period who is otherwise qualified for such payments and reductions, as described in § 155.305, if the tax filer attests to the Exchange that he or she understands that any advance payments of the premium tax credit paid on his or her behalf are subject to reconciliation.

(5) If, after the period described in paragraph (f)(2)(ii) of this section, the Exchange remains unable to verify the attestation, the Exchange must determine the applicant's eligibility based on the information available from the data sources specified in this subpart, unless such applicant qualifies for the exception provided under paragraph (g) of this section, and notify the applicant of such determination in accordance with the notice requirements specified in § 155.310(g), including notice that the Exchange is unable to verify the attestation.

(6) When electronic data to support the verifications specified in § 155.315(d) or § 155.320(b) is required but it is not reasonably expected that data sources will be available within 1 day of the initial request to the data source, the Exchange must accept the applicant's attestation regarding the factor of eligibility for which the unavailable data source is relevant.

(g)Exception for special circumstances. For an applicant who does not have documentation with which to resolve the inconsistency through the process described in paragraph (f)(2) of this section because such documentation does not exist or is not reasonably available and for whom the Exchange is unable to otherwise resolve the inconsistency, with the exception of an inconsistency related to citizenship or immigration status, the Exchange must provide an exception, on a case-by-case basis, to accept an applicant's attestation as to the information which cannot otherwise be verified along with an explanation of circumstances as to why the applicant does not have documentation.

(h)Flexibility in information collection and verification. HHS may approve an Exchange Blueprint in accordance with § 155.105(d) or a significant change to the Exchange Blueprint in accordance with § 155.105(e) to modify the methods to be used for collection of information and verification of information as set forth in this subpart, as well as the specific information required to be collected, provided that HHS finds that such modification would reduce the administrative costs and burdens on individuals while maintaining accuracy and minimizing delay, that it would not undermine coordination with Medicaid and CHIP, and that applicable requirements under §§ 155.260, 155.270, paragraph (i) of this section, and section 6103 of the Code with respect to the confidentiality, disclosure, maintenance, or use of such information will be met.

(i)Applicant information. The Exchange must not require an applicant to provide information beyond the minimum necessary to support the eligibility and enrollment processes of the Exchange, Medicaid, CHIP, and the BHP, if a BHP is operating in the service area of the Exchange, described in this subpart.

(j)Verification related to eligibility for enrollment through the Exchange in a QHP that is a catastrophic plan. The Exchange must verify an applicant's attestation that he or she meets the requirements of § 155.305(h) by -

(1) Verifying the applicant's attestation of age as follows -

(i) Except as provided in paragraph (j)(1)(iii) of this section, accepting his or her attestation without further verification; or

(ii) Examining electronic data sources that are available to the Exchange and which have been approved by HHS for this purpose, based on evidence showing that such data sources are sufficiently current and accurate, and minimize administrative costs and burdens.

(iii) If information regarding age is not reasonably compatible with other information provided by the individual or in the records of the Exchange, the Exchange must examine information in data sources that are available to the Exchange and which have been approved by HHS for this purpose based on evidence showing that such data sources are sufficiently current and accurate.

(2) Verifying that an applicant has a certification of exemption in effect as described in § 155.305(h)(2).

(3) To the extent that the Exchange is unable to verify the information required to determine eligibility for enrollment through the Exchange in a QHP that is a catastrophic plan as described in paragraphs (j)(1) and (2) of this section, the Exchange must follow the procedures specified in § 155.315(f), except for § 155.315(f)(4).

[77 FR 18444, Mar. 27, 2012, as amended at 77 FR 31515, May 29, 2012; 78 FR 42316, July 15, 2013]