Health Insurance Enrollment Through Covered California Lagging For Latinos

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Even though hundreds of thousands of Californians have signed up for health coverage through the state’s insurance exchange, officials with Covered California are concerned that relatively few Latinos in the state have enrolled.

California’s Latino population is seen as an important part of the success of the Affordable Care Act in the state, as Latinos account for more than 38 percent of the population, with many uninsured. So the question remains, why haven’t more Latinos enrolled for health care plans through Covered California?

Health Insurance Enrollment Lagging For Latinos Through Covered California

“The few people that I have talked to, they have had problems with the website or had problems understanding the product,” said Jorge Najera, a bilingual insurance agent in San Francisco.

Najera said that many Latinos see Covered California marketing and assume the benefits will be the same, no matter what plan they sign up for.

He said Covered California officials need to do a better job of explaining the different insurance options, especially when it comes to lower cost plans.

“Spell it out what they are going to get. You signed up for this, but you have to meet the deductibles, you have to do this,” said Najera. “So they’d have a better understanding when they sign up.”

Latinos account for more than half of the state’s uninsured residents, but only about 13 percent of Covered California enrollees through the first two months of open enrollment have been Latino.

Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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