This past week has been full of good news — from learning that 7.3 million consumers enrolled in marketplace coverage as of August 15, to the release of the most recent Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment report showing that Medicaid enrollment has increased by 8 million consumers since last October.
And today the Commonwealth Fund released more promising figures, including that the uninsured rate among Latinos has decreased from 36 percent to 23 percent! Medicaid expansion states saw an even bigger decrease: from 35 percent to 17 percent. As if those two numbers aren’t enough, the uninsured rate among young Latino adults dropped from 43 percent to 23 percent. Talk about jaw-dropping figures.
Latinos have long had some of the highest uninsured rates of any population, so this drop is significant to say the least. And it shows a promising trend: early approaches to connecting Latinos to coverage have been a success.
It also means that some major barriers have been tackled. For example, during the first open enrollment period (OE1), Latinos had limited awareness of the financial assistance and in-person assistance available to them. And we know that Latinos — like most consumers — valued both. In fact, African Americans and Latinos were 43 percent more likely to seek in-person assistance than their white counterparts. Which is part of the reason enrollment events, such as Latino Enrollment Summits during OE1, were so critical to successfully enrolling many Latinos in coverage.
But there is always more work to do, especially in this field. Part of that includes increasing health insurance literacy (#HealthInsLit). Enroll America has partnered with a number of organizations—including League of United Latin America Citizens (LULAC), Voto Latino, and National Council La Raza (NCLR)—to host Latino Health Education and Resource Fairs to help consumers better understand their new coverage. We’ve also launched a Health Insurance Resource Hub so enrollment stakeholders can share health insurance literacy resources with one another.
It’s critical that we continue this great progress and ensure that Latinos #GetCovered and #StayCovered. In October, our #Ready4OE2 webinar and blog series will share lessons learned from OE1 and offer concrete strategies — such as Applying Lessons Learned When Connecting with Specific Uninsured Communities — so that outreach and enrollment continue to be a success in OE2. You can check out our webinar line up and register for the first three webinars here.