Health Clinic Chains Assist in Covered California Enrollment Efforts
Covered California is turning to AltaMed and other health clinic chains to help enroll Latino residents in health coverage through the state insurance exchange, the Los Angeles Times reports (Karlamangla/Terhune, Los Angeles Times, 3/19).
Background on Latino Enrollment
Latinos are seen as being key to the success of the Affordable Care Act. Many Latinos are uninsured, and they pose a lower financial risk because they typically are younger and healthier than other uninsured residents.
As of Feb. 28, 22% of Covered California enrollees identified as Latino. Latinos make up more than half of the state's uninsured population (California Healthline, 3/17).
Details of Health Clinic Sign-Ups
AltaMed -- which includes 40 not-for-profit clinics in Southern California -- has successfully enrolled many Latino residents in health coverage in part because it is seen as a trusted and familiar organization.
In contrast, the state health exchange is relatively unknown to many Latino residents, according to the Times.
About 120 enrollment counselors at AltaMed clinics have enrolled about 900 consumers per week in health plans offered through the exchange.
In addition, 45 enrollment counselors at Clinica Sierra Vista have worked to enroll 600 people weekly at its 30 clinics.
However, few full-time retail clinics in the state offer enrollment assistance, according to the Times.
Carmela Castellano-Garcia, CEO of the California Primary Care Association, said the two clinic chains are big drivers of enrollment in the exchange.
She said AltaMed, Clinica Sierra Vista and other retail clinics employ about one-third of the total 4,900 certified enrollment counselors in the state (Los Angeles Times, 3/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.