Health Insurers Offer Cross-Border Plans To Reach Uninsured Latinos
Health insurers are offering health plans to cover services at hospitals and physician practices on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border, hoping that the cross-border plans will be appealing to some of the state's uninsured Latinos, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
For example, Sekure Healthcare has been offering a limited-benefits insurance program through employers, as well as a discount health card program, aimed mainly at low-income Mexican workers in California who either do not have the option of enrolling in employer-sponsored coverage or cannot afford coverage.
Two years after launching the company, and with fewer than 2,000 beneficiaries, Sekure has yet to turn a profit. But Sekure's president and CEO Jim Arriola says the insurer is focusing on the largest portion of the uninsured to "make inroads."
At least four insurers, including Blue Shield of California and Health Net, also offer traditional health plans that let beneficiaries access care on either side of the border. However, those plans are unaffordable for many workers, and only a small fraction of the uninsured Latino population has enrolled in them, the Union-Tribune reports (Darcé, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/28).