Survey Finds Latinos Benefitted Most from Free In-Person Assistance Offered by the Health Insurance Marketplace

7 in 10 Newly Enrolled Latinos Plan to Use Their New Coverage to Get a Check-Up.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2014
Annette Raveneau
202-909-3044 | Press@EnrollAmerica.org

Washington, DC – During the first open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act, Latinos benefitted more than other groups from free in-person assistance located in their communities to help them enroll in coverage. According to a nationwide survey conducted by PerryUndem, a prominent health care research firm, 34% of Latinos who enrolled used the services of these experts, in comparison with 12% of non-Latino whites. The survey also found that nearly seven in 10 newly enrolled Latinos say they plan to get a check-up in the next few months thanks to their new health plans, in comparison with only half of non-Latino whites.

“Choosing a health plan is one of the most important decisions we make for ourselves and our families. Thanks to the free help of experts, Latinos have the opportunity to enroll with confidence in a quality health plan from the Health Insurance Marketplace and to receive the financial help they need to pay for a health plan.” said Annette Raveneau, National Latino Press Secretary of Get Covered America. “The fact that so many Latinos plan to use their new coverage to get a check-up shows that families are much more engaged with their well-being when they have access to quality and affordable health coverage.”

Among the Latino respondents who remain uninsured, the belief that they could not afford health insurance (41%) – or that they would not be eligible (26%) – were some of the main reasons for not attempting to get coverage. These are barriers that organizations like Get Covered America are trying to break down by informing the Latino community across the country that financial assistance is available in the Health Insurance Marketplace, and that as long as they have a legal immigration status in the country, they may qualify for the Marketplace, Medicaid or CHIP.

Some of the other findings about remaining uninsured Latinos include:

  • Local TV news plays a huge role in how they access information.  Six in 10 uninsured Latinos said their main source of information on their health insurance options is local TV news, compared with 3 in 10 non-Latino whites.
  • 78% did not know that the health care law offered financial assistance or subsidies to help pay for their health plans, underscoring the need for continued education in this community.
  • 66% did not know that free in-person assistance is available to help them enroll.
  • 66% did not know that they cannot be denied because of a pre-existing condition like asthma, diabetes or cancer.
  • 20% found the enrollment process to be confusing, in comparison with 9% of non-Latino whites.

The survey, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The California Endowment, was conducted using a Knowledge Network probability based online panel between April 10 – 28, 2014, and reached 671 newly enrolled individuals and 853 people who remain uninsured, including 109 newly enrolled Latinos and 232 Latinos who remain uninsured. It offers the most in-depth exploration to date of the factors that affected consumer enrollment decisions during the first open enrollment period. Respondents were asked a wide variety of questions about their experiences with the enrollment process, perceptions of cost, their reasons for their enrollment decision, their satisfaction with their coverage, their health, how they intend to use their new plans, and their expectations regarding future enrollment. 

Though the first open enrollment period is over, Get Covered America is maintaining over two hundred staff in our offices across the country to reach out to consumers who are eligible for Medicaid or for special Marketplace enrollment periods, including those who had a baby, got married, or lost job-based health coverage.

For a full report on the survey results, click HERE.

About Get Covered America and Enroll America
Get Covered America is a national campaign of Enroll America that is focused on educating consumers about the benefits of health coverage and the new health insurance available under the Affordable Care Act. With operations in eleven states (AZ, FL, GA, IL, MI, NC, NJ, OH, PA, TN and TX), our grassroots team is powered by passionate staff and volunteers with one motivating goal: to give Americans the information they need to choose an affordable health insurance plan that’s right for them and their families.

Enroll America is the nation’s leading health care enrollment coalition, bringing together community and health organizations, businesses and others to inform consumers about the new health coverage options and how to enroll in them. It is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit 501c(3) organization.

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