National Effort to Enroll Latinos in Health Coverage Ramps Up With Latino Week of Action

Over a dozen national groups organize Latino Week of Action leading up to the January 31 enrollment deadline.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 6, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – With less than four weeks until the January 31 deadline to sign up for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, Enroll America, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and other national enrollment partners are teaming up to engage Latino communities across the country by launching a Latino Week of Action that begins this Saturday. Starting in Texas, Florida and North Carolina, health care leaders will encourage uninsured Latinos to explore their health insurance options and utilize the more than 3,200 enrollment locations available through the Get Covered Connector, an online scheduling tool that allows consumers to make a free appointment in Spanish or English with an enrollment expert who can help them enroll in quality, affordable health insurance in the language they feel most comfortable speaking.

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Latinos saw a larger reduction of the uninsured rate than any other group over the last two years – but there are still millions more who can benefit from the new options available to them,” said Anne Filipic, President of Enroll America. “Over the next month, we’ll be ramping up our efforts in these communities to make sure they have the tools they need in the language they prefer to get covered by January 31.”

“LULAC works hard to overcome health disparities and improve the lives of the Latino community.  Through LULAC’s Latinos Living Healthy Initiative, we organize annual health fairs across the country that bring vital resources and raise awareness on existing health disparities. In addition, at LULAC’s annual convention, we host panels and round table discussions regarding how to break down social norms that prevent the treatment of certain preventable diseases. Our work has been greatly assisted in this area by the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” said Roger Rocha Jr., National President of LULAC. “Latinos now have access to health care coverage which provides the opportunity to receive diagnostic and preventative treatment. However, in order to enjoy the benefits of the ACA we must ensure that everyone in our community enrolls before January 31, which is the deadline for healthcare coverage for 2016. We must work together to ensure that everyone is signed up for health care coverage and that financial assistance is available to those who need it.”

According to a study done by the Urban Institute, as of March 2015, 1 in 5 Latino adults were living without health insurance. And 4 out of 5 Latinos don’t know that financial help is available to reduce their monthly premium, even though 85% of people who enrolled during the second enrollment period received financial help to make their health insurance more affordable. With open enrollment closing on January 31, the next 25 days are a critical time for Latino communities across the country to make sure the remaining uninsured have a clear understanding of the facts and the assistance available to them to successfully enroll in coverage.

“As one of the largest and most trusted health care providers in the country, Planned Parenthood understands the importance of increasing access to health care, and is proud to work with community leaders to enroll people in Obamacare,” said Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of PPFA. “We fully believe that everyone, regardless of where they live, their economic status, or citizenship status, should have access to a full range of health care, including reproductive care, such as birth control, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and lifesaving cancer screenings, all of which are covered under the ACA.”

During this Latino Week of Action, a coalition of more than 15 national partners have teamed up to get the word out to Latinos. Groups like the National Association of Hispanic Nurses; National Latina Institute of Reproductive Health; Planned Parenthood Federation of America; National Council of La Raza (NCLR); the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Voto Latino; League of United Latin America Citizens (LULAC) and others will be participating in Twitter chats, hosting webinars and Google hangouts, sharing PSAs, and holding events to engage local Latino leaders, volunteers and uninsured Latinos and make sure they have the facts about how the law can benefit them.

“The members of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) have seen first-hand the need for accessible and affordable care among the Latino community,” said Celia Trigo Besore, Executive Director of NAHN.  “The Affordable Care Act has made it possible for many hard-working Hispanics to benefit from preventive care and have access to quality healthcare. While many Latinos now have access, there are still many that are not receiving the benefits of the ACA. Our Chapters will be making extra efforts in the next few weeks to educate their communities on the benefits available to them in addition to helping them connect to resources for enrolling in health insurance coverage.”

During the first two open enrollment periods, Latinos were the most likely group to make use of free, bilingual in-person assistance in their communities to help them enroll in coverage. In fact, 63% of Spanish-speaking Latinos who are still uninsured consider speaking with an in-person assister before making an enrollment decision important. Because Latinos have faced major gaps in coverage for years, many are unfamiliar with basic health insurance terms and they prefer someone explain the enrollment process and how coverage works in the language they’re most comfortable with.

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About Enroll America and Get Covered America
Enroll America is the nation’s leading health care enrollment coalition. An independent nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, Enroll America works with more than 6,700 partners in all 50 states to create cutting-edge tools, analyze data, inform policy, and share best practices in service of its mission: maximizing the number of Americans who enroll in and retain health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The Get Covered America campaign was created in 2013 to inform millions of eligible consumers about their new health insurance options, and has been tested, refined, and proven successful through two enrollment cycles. Get Covered America programs and tools are now being utilized by partners in enrollment efforts nationwide, supported by more than 100 Enroll America staff working both nationally and on-the-ground in targeted communities across the country.

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