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The ACA is Working for the Latino Community

In every community across the country, the Affordable Care Act is working to increase access to affordable, quality health care. This is especially true for the Latino Community. To learn more about Open Enrollment, or to check out your coverage options, visit: Healthcare.govcuidadodesalud.govor call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY 1-855-889-4325).

Transforming the American Healthcare System

Historic Reduction in the Uninsured. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, we have seen an historic reduction in uninsured rates—with an estimated 20 million uninsured people gaining health coverage. Those gains come primarily from the Health Insurance Marketplace, young adults who can stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26, and Medicaid expansions.

Health Care Coverage is now Affordable for Millions of Americans. Of the approximately 11.1 million people who purchased coverage through the Marketplace as of March 31, 2016, nearly 9.4 million (85 percent) received a tax credit to help them pay their monthly premium. In 2016, nearly 7 in 10 of Marketplace shoppers using HealthCare.gov could purchase coverage for $75 a month or less after tax credits.  Further, a Commonwealth Fund study found that in 2014, fewer Americans had problems paying medical bills or medical debt, and fewer went without care because they couldn’t afford it. A more recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found the Affordable Care Act has yielded better overall financial health for the newly insured.

Higher Quality Coverage. After years of dropped coverage, flimsy plans and barriers to care, everyone’s coverage has improved because people, including those who get health insurance through their employers, have new protections. No one can be dropped just because they get sick, and millions of people now have coverage for trips to the emergency room, filling their prescriptions and getting the preventive services they need.

How the ACA is Working for Latinos

  • Last year, an estimated 8 in 10 uninsured Latinos qualified for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), or lower costs on monthly premiums through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
  • 8.8 million Latinos with private health insurance now have access to preventive services like mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, or flu shots with no co-pay or deductible.
  • 913,000 Latino adults between the ages of 19 and 26 who would have been uninsured now have coverage under their parents’ plan.
  • 4.2 million Latinos (ages 18-64) gained health insurance coverage, lowering the uninsured rate among Latinos by 7.7 percentage points.
  • If all states took advantage of new opportunities to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, 95 percent of eligible uninsured Latinos might qualify for Medicaid, CHIP, or programs to help lower the cost of health insurance coverage in the Marketplace.
  • ACA invested $11 billion in Community Health Centers, which increased access to health care by almost 35 percent to Hispanic patients who rely on these centers.
    • Uninsured Rate: The uninsured rate overall for Latinos is down 11.3 percent from 41.8 percent to 30.5 percent resulting in 4 million Latino adults gaining coverage.

More Work Ahead

Further Expanding Coverage. Even with the major strides we’ve seen, too many in the Latino community remain uninsured. We must all work together to continue to spread the word about new coverage options. This includes working with the states that have yet to expand Medicaid to get as many people covered as possible.

From Coverage to Care. Now that millions more individuals have health coverage, we are working to educate people about their coverage and to reduce barriers so that they can get the care they need to live longer and healthier lives. Ultimately, one of the key steps in addressing the many health issues facing the Latino community is helping each individual understand how to take advantage of the full benefits of their health coverage.

Open Enrollment Outreach Tactics

Our priority during Open Enrollment is to provide every consumer with the information they need to select the best plan for their families. Reaching the Latino community requires a unique approach that includes more than having a Spanish website and offering bilingual support at the call center. About 19 percent of the uninsured who qualify for Marketplace coverage are Latino, less than a third of whom are Spanish reliant.

For that reason, our strategy is to better meet consumers where they are.

  • Working with Coalitions: During Open Enrollment 3, the National Latino Health Coalition, which includes 14 organizations and HHS, work together to host a series of activities to enroll as many eligible uninsured Latinos as possible. This includes raising awareness through social media and hosting a series of Health Enrollment Fairs in the days leading up to Latino Week of Action, which took place from January 11 - 17, 2016.
  • Spanish Language Television: We are continuing to advertise on Spanish language television and are running local advertisements in communities with a large number of Spanish speakers with more specific information about how to get in-person help.
  • Spanish language ads are running on Univision and/or Telemundo in the following Markets, which were chosen because they reach the largest number of uninsured Spanish speakers:
    • Phoenix, Miami, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Philadelphia, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Laredo, McAllen, San Antonio
  • Reaching Latinos Not Reliant on Spanish: Because only about a third of those Latinos who qualify for Marketplace coverage are Spanish reliant, we determined that we needed to expand our reach to those who were bi-lingual or primarily English speakers. Part of our advertising campaign includes a television ad which features the same individuals from our Spanish language ad speaking English, and we are running ads on general audience networks that reach Hispanics; such as, NBA networks for the Spurs, Mavericks, Rockets and Heat.
    • English Language Markets: Tucson, Miami, Albuquerque, Austin, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Houston, Laredo, McAllen, Odessa-Midland, San Antonio
  • In-Person Assistance Media: Research shows how important in-person assistance is for the Latino community – that’s why we’ve expanded our efforts to raise awareness of the enrollment specialists in their community. These ads direct people to the nearest enrollment assistance center.
    • Spanish Language Markets: Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Brownsville/McAllen, Austin, Phoenix, Northern NJ.
    • Types of Media: Plans are customized to each market based on the characteristics of that particular market, but in general include radio (both traditional and online), community newspapers, and ads at gas stations, bus kiosks, convenience stores and Laundromats.
  • Online Advertising: We use search and display advertising to drive people to CuidadoDeSalud.gov including a large focus on mobile advertising. These ads are targeted to those locations with a large number of Marketplace eligible uninsured.
  • Email and Text Messages: We are actively reaching out to the Latino community, including both current Marketplace enrollees and prospective new enrollees, who provide their email and phone number for email/SMS updates. The updates provide information about the enrollment period, including how to enroll, the availability of local assistance, the availability of tax credits, and key deadlines.  For this open enrollment period, we are emailing/texting Spanish consumers 2-3 timed per week, with increased frequency approaching key deadline dates.

How You Can Help

Know the Facts. Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace runs from November 1, 2016 to January 30, 2017. Health coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2017 for those who sign up by December 15, 2016. Those who have already received health coverage through the Marketplace should come back to shop and review their coverage options as new, better, and more affordable plans may be available for them in 2017. To make sure consumers get the best deal for January 1, 2017 coverage, they need to take action by December 15, 2016. Even outside of Open Enrollment, Latinos can get coverage if they have experienced certain life events such as getting married, or moving.

Talk to Your Friends/Family. Friends and family are some of the most trusted voices when it comes to important financial and health decisions. Talk to them, and encourage them to check out Healthcare.gov. If they’d like more help selecting a plan, let them know about our call center—available in English and Spanish at 1-800-318-2596. (TTY 1-855-889-4325). If they’d like to talk to someone in person, let them know that free in person help is available, and they can find out about getting help in their area by visiting: Localhelp.healthcare.gov. These resources are also available in Spanish at cuidadodesalud.gov, and ayudalocal.cuidadodesalud.gov.

Spread the Word. Help spread the word by following us and sharing our content on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, joining the #GetCovered conversation, or sharing your story with us. You never know who you might help by taking even a small step to spread the word.

To Learn More on How the ACA Helps Latinos


Content created by Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA)
Content last reviewed on July 21, 2016
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