In a California Healthline report by Kenny Goldberg, experts discussed the low rate of Latino enrollment in the state health benefit exchange.
Statewide, an estimated 1.2 million Latinos are eligible for subsidies to help lower their costs to join the exchange — but only about 74,000 Latinos have signed up for coverage. That dearth in Latino enrollment can be attributed in part to social concerns of families that include some undocumented immigrants, as well as other cultural issues such as lack of familiarity with health insurance. But other factors have contributed: Covered California didn’t post an online Spanish-language enrollment form until early January, and only about 10% of the exchange’s call-center operators speak Spanish.
All of those issues are being considered and addressed in the push to enroll more members of the state’s Latino population before the March 31 open enrollment deadline.
The report includes comments from:Lizelda Lopez, spokesperson for the Covered California health benefit exchange; Tracy Ream, CEO of Neighborhood Healthcare, based in Escondido (San Diego County); Gregory Talavera, physician and professor at the Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University; and Norma Torres, California senator (D-Pomona) (Goldberg, California Healthline, 2/12/14)
You can download a PDF transcript of this report.