Information gap persists about Latinos and Obamacare

Information gap persists about Latinos and Obamacare


For over a year, there has been an aggressive push to get Latinos, who have high rates of uninsured, to enroll in Obamacare. Initially, there were criticisms about the Spanish language website that people were to visit for more information about enrollment, and then there were other rumblings about the extent of the outreach effort.

This year the Department of Health and Human Services tripled the amount of money it was spending to target the country’s largest minority group, but a new survey reveals that 25 percent of Latinos said they had heard or read “nothing at all” about resources encouraging them to enroll in Obamacare, and 28 percent said they knew “not that much” about them.

According to a report by U.S. News and World Report:


[quote]”The Department of Health and Human Services this year tripled its spending on paid media targeting at Latinos, and teamed with Enroll America and other national groups in January for four weeks, holding more than 600 local enrollment events.

Overall, the administration considers its enrollment figures to be successful. More than 11 million people picked a plan or automatically re-enrolled in a new one. It is unclear where the gap is for the Latino population, but the survey suggests there are some fears about being treated unfairly because of their ethnicity.

Questions in the National Latino Health and Immigration Survey, conducted by Latino Decisions and sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico, used data from 1,005 phone interviews with Latinos earlier this year, asking them about their health and their experiences with the health care marketplaces.

Despite the lack of knowledge regarding health care exchanges, the survey found that 82 percent of Latinos have health insurance – the highest rate of coverage the group has recorded since it began polling in 2008. A previous poll in 2013 by Latino decisions showed that 23 percent of Latinos lacked health insurance at that time.”[/quote]

The lack of engagement and knowledge about Obamacare within in the Latino community could be attributed to the immigration status of some Latinos. Because there hasn’t been a comprehensive immigration reform and many Latinos who have legal status may have family members who are undocumented, there could be a reluctance to engage with information or authorities who are promoting Obamacare. Undocumented immigrants do not qualify for Obamacare.

Photo credit: Pro Obamacare Rally by LaDawna Howard, licensed under CC BY 2.0.