#StateOfEnrollment: National Latino Enrollment Summits: The Value of In-Person Assistance

By Jose L. Plaza

Strategy: In-person enrollment events to engage the Latino community on health coverage enrollment

Where and when it was used: 25+ cities over three months

Notable metrics: Hosted 60+ events, engaged 200+ national and local partners, and informed 15,000+ Latinos about their enrollment opportunities.

 Best practices to replicate:

  • Identify and invite key local partners, leaders, elected officials, and trusted community members
  • Develop strong local coalitions
  • Secure a large, tech-ready, accessible, and welcoming venue to host events (e.g. schools)
  • Plan your event by setting a date and working backwards to effectively meet your goals and give you a proper sense of a timeline
  • Provide ancillary community resources (health fair, screenings, etc.)
  • Engage the children with fun activities while parents handle enrollment
  • Maximize social media to engage and inform young Latinos
  • PLAN, PLAN, PLAN and be ready to execute a great event

Out of all ethnic groups, Latinos have the highest uninsured rate. And our research shows that Latinos are the least informed about the financial assistance that is available to help pay for the new health insurance options made available under the Affordable Care Act.  We also know that Latinos want in-person assistance when applying for health insurance – Latinos and African Americans were 43 percent more likely to seek in-person assistance than their white counterparts during the initial open enrollment period.

This is why Enroll America partnered with leading national and local organizations like the League of United Latin American Citizens, Planned Parenthood, National Council of La Raza, Voto Latino, National Institute of Latina Reproductive Health, as well as the White House and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to raise awareness about new coverage options in cities with the highest rates of uninsured Latinos. In each of these cities, Enroll America and partners held enrollment events where families could come and learn about their health coverage options and enroll in insurance with the help of an in-person assister.

We quickly realized Latino families come to enroll as families. Because of this, there was a need to have activities to engage children while the parents waited to enroll. There was also an opportunity to bring in other health related information so individuals could stay engaged while they were waiting to be seen by an assister.

We enlisted local leaders, community organizations, elected officials (including high-profile members of Congress), and some senior administration officials to participate in these events. Engaging local and national stakeholders attracted the media’s attention, which led to earned media that helped promote the event to our target audiences.

Overall, these summits informed more than 15,000 Latinos about their new health insurance options. And we now have a model that can be replicated across the country on how to successfully engage Latinos on health coverage enrollment.

Enroll America and our partners are currently in the planning stages to ensure that the National Latino Summits remain a critical component of the outreach and education efforts for the next annual open enrollment period. Be sure to join our efforts and help us make the second round of these summits an even greater success! Visit getcoveredamerica.org/national-Latino-enrollment-summits for more information on upcoming events or contact our National Director of Latino Engagement Jose L. Plaza, jplaza [at] enrollamerica.org.

McAllen TX NLE

McAllen, Texas, National Latino Enrollment Event at La Unión Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE)

New Jersey National Latino Enrollment Summit. Representative Albio Sires, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Robert Menendez, Enroll America State Director Justine Ceserano, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Director of the Union City Housing Authority Virgilio Cabello

El Paso TX NLE

Hour-long lines of Latinos hoping to enroll in El Paso, Texas

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