White House Seeks To Enroll Latinos in Health Insurance Exchanges
Latino enrollment in the health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act is key to the overall success of the law, and the Obama administration is working to make sure Latinos enroll, NPR/Kaiser Health News reports.
Observers have noted that to keep premiums reasonable in the exchanges, it is necessary for young and healthy individuals to purchase coverage to offset the costs of elderly and sicker participants. Latinos make up 17% of the U.S. population and 32% of the country's uninsured population, while nearly half of Hispanics are under age 26.
However, there are many challenges to conveying the message to the Latino community and getting them to enroll.
Jennifer Ng'andu, director of the health and civil rights policy project at the National Council of La Raza, said that prolonged debates over prohibiting undocumented immigrants from benefitting from the ACA created distrust in Latino communities. Further, the current effort to pass new immigration legislation is creating more confusion among the population, particularly for families with mixed citizenship, according to Ng'andu.
In response, the administration has planned outreach efforts within the Latino community. Last week, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced she will make appearances on Spanish-language media outlets to talk about the ACA and promote the updated CuidadoDeSalud.gov, the Spanish version of the ACA's HealthCare.gov. Meanwhile, local community organizations specializing in Latino outreach are obtaining navigator grants to promote the ACA.
In addition, President Obama recently highlighted a California outreach campaign for Latinos being conducted by Hispanic media groups, which includes large television, radio, web and mobile campaigns. Obama said other states should replicate the plan (Gold, NPR/Kaiser Health News, 6/25).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.