As Part of Expanded Effort on Health Insurance Literacy, Enroll America and Partners Launch Nationwide Series of Latino Educational Fairs During Hispanic Heritage Month

National organizations join forces to engage thousands of Latinos in their
communities, encouraging them to #GetCovered and #StayCovered

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 11, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – With the second open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace approaching, Enroll America and its national partners are expanding efforts to educate the uninsured, especially the Latino community, about how to find, use, and keep new health care options available under the Affordable Care Act. The coalition of national groups, including League of United Latin America Citizens (LULAC), Voto Latino, Families USA, Planned Parenthood, National Institute Latina Reproductive Health, National Council La Raza (NCLR), Hispanic Federation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The White House, and Enroll America are launching a series of National Latino Health Education and Resource Fairs during Hispanic Heritage Month to engage Latino communities across the country.

“We know from our data, research, and interactions on the ground that Latinos value in-person assistance and resources in Spanish to help them learn about their health insurance options,” said Anne Filipic, president of Enroll America. “That’s why we and our partners are launching this effort well ahead of the next open enrollment period to engage Latinos across the country so that they have the information and tools they need to get covered and stay covered.”

“Today we have an unprecedented opportunity to help ensure that Latino families have the coverage they need in order to get preventative care and life saving treatment,” said Brent Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). “LULAC is proud of its work with partners like Enroll America to close the health care coverage gap in the United States.  LULAC urges the community to attend the Latino education fairs and take advantage of the opportunities to get information, enroll, and get covered.”

“For many in our community, this is their first experience enrolling in health insurance and sometimes the process and terminology can be challenging and confusing,” said Steven Lopez, senior health policy analyst at the National Council La Raza (NCLR). “That’s why it’s important to connect consumers with linguistically appropriate and culturally competent resources and information. NCLR is committed to ensuring that as many who are eligible get covered, stay covered, and maximize the full benefit of their insurance coverage.”

“Planned Parenthood is proud to be part of this coalition working with communities across the country to ensure that anyone who has questions or needs information about their new health coverage options can get it in a way that is convenient and accessible,” said Vanessa Gonzalez-Plumhoff, director of Latino leadership and engagement for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We believe that all people deserve high-quality, affordable health care, no matter who they are and no matter where they live and in doing so assisted more than 715,000 Latinos with access to more affordable health insurance.”

The Latino educational fairs are the centerpiece of an expanded effort by Enroll America to provide additional resources and tools to improve health insurance literacy. In the coming months, Enroll America will be working to develop consumer-tested digital and printable tools on health insurance basics, understanding the cost of coverage, and resources in Spanish. To inform this work, the group will also be collecting and analyzing data on gaps in health insurance literacy.

After the first open enrollment period, Enroll America and PerryUndem conducted a survey, finding that the Latino community has faced significant obstacles to learning about the health care options available to them. Among Latinos who remain uninsured, 41% believed that they would not be able to afford health insurance—but 78% did not know about the opportunities for financial assistance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. A quarter of uninsured Latinos believed they wouldn’t be eligible for coverage, even though they can enroll if they have legal immigration status. And although Latinos who got covered benefitted from the availability of in-person assistance, 66% did not know they could receive free expert help with the enrollment process in their community.

The National Latino Health Education and Resource Fairs are intended to bridge the barriers Latinos have faced in learning about their new health insurance options under the law. Attendees will learn about the different types of coverage available, the essential benefits provided, basic health insurance terminology, and receive information about the financial assistance available through the Marketplace. Consumers will also learn about the current options for coverage through special enrollment periods if they have a qualifying life event—such as getting married, having a baby, moving, or experiencing a change in income or employment status—and year-round Medicaid and CHIP enrollment. There will also be free, culturally competent in-person assisters on site to help those who can get covered now complete the enrollment process.

The National Latino Health Education and Resource Fairs will kick off during Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 – October 15 in 16 targeted cities: Phoenix, AZ; Los Angeles, CA; Denver, CO; Miami, FL; Orlando, FL; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Camden, NJ; Patterson, NJ; Charlotte, NC; Philadelphia, PA; Memphis, TN; Dallas, TX; Houston, TX; McAllen, TX; and San Antonio, TX.

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 options 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 new health coverage options and how to enroll in them. It is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

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