States are warning that they may not process Medicaid enrollments from people who have signed up for the health program through the troubled HealthCare.gov site, raising the prospect that several hundred thousand low-income people who thought they had obtained insurance actually may not have it.
The federal health-insurance site, which serves residents in 36 states, is designed to sell policies from private insurers. But some people who apply for coverage through the site discover they are eligible instead for Medicaid, the joint federal-state health-insurance program for the poor and disabled.
So far, the federal government has been unable to transfer full Medicaid applications to states, potentially leaving people who sought to sign up for Medicaid through HealthCare.gov without coverage.
In all, some 183,396 people who submitted coverage applications through HealthCare.gov were determined to be eligible for Medicaid through Nov. 2, according to data published by the Department of Health and Human Services. Many thousands more are believed to have received similar assessments in the month since then.