Short Takes On News & Events

Report: Latinos Could Be Big Winners From Obamacare

By Phil Galewitz

February 11th, 2014, 2:56 PM

Latinos make up a disproportionate share of the nation’s uninsured and most could get coverage from the Affordable Care Act or existing programs if every state expanded Medicaid,  according to a federal report released Tuesday.

A Planned Parenthood worker speaks with a woman during an Affordable Care Act outreach event in September 2013 in Los Angeles (Photo by Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters)

The report said that if all states expanded Medicaid, as many as 95 percent of eligible, uninsured Latinos might qualify for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or subsidized coverage through the health law’s new online marketplaces available to individuals with incomes between 100 percent of the federal poverty level ($11,600) and four times that amount ($46,000). Half the states have not expanded Medicaid, including the Latino-heavy states of Florida and Texas.

The eligible uninsured are those living in the U.S. legally.

The report is part of the Obama administration’s  effort to recruit people to sign up for new coverage options available under the law.  Officials said they did not have figures for how many eligible Latinos have signed up in the 36 states covered by the federal marketplace.

California, which is running its own marketplace and has expanded Medicaid, has said enrollment among Latinos has been slow since the sign-up period began Oct. 1. An estimated 1.2 million, or 46 percent, of the 2.6 million Californians eligible for federal premium subsidies are Latino. But Covered California last month said only 20 percent of enrollees through the end of December described themselves as Latino on their applications.

According to the federal report, about 1 in 4 uninsured individuals who are eligible for the marketplace nationwide are Latino (10.2 million out of 41.3 million individuals). Most live in California, Texas and Florida and about half are between the ages of 18 and 35.

The report details uninsurance rates by state and provides several examples of what premiums might look like for Latinos living in major metropolitan areas.

“The health care law addresses longstanding inequalities that have affected minority communities across the nation, including lack of access to affordable health insurance coverage,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.

In addition to going to, Latinos can enroll using the Spanish language through

9 Responses to “Report: Latinos Could Be Big Winners From Obamacare”

  1. M.J. Ziemann says:

    Why don’t we just throw up our hands and just give our country to the illegals, those that don’t choose to work, atheists, navigators, criminals and all those that want to change America from that great nation that was! They already kicked God out and that didn’t seem to awaken the “Sleeping Giant”. Our leaders are only concerned with staying in office and our current President is now our current Dictator!

  2. G. Lessard says:

    What do you have against the navigators?

  3. A. Hernandez says:

    @M.J. Ziemann – And what do you have against people (legal residents) obtaining affordable health care coverage? This means that their employer doesn’t provide coverage or they are self-employed or unemployed (the recession lingers on) so they have to purchase on their own insurance.

    You must be on medicare (taxpayer funded) or your employer provides/subsidizes your health coverage . . . . you got yours too bad for everyone else?

  4. George Fulmore says:

    I’m mainly commenting in order to balance the idiotic comment above. Of course, the main purpose of the ACA is to increase the percentage of American citizens and other legal residents with private health care insurance. The main funding source for this is to “redirect” funds that have been spent in the past to pay for doctor and hospital bills that were not paid for by those who received services. It’s that simple. Latinos are a growing percentage of modern America. We should all want all legal American residents to have health care insurance. That is a positive thing.. The ACA is here to stay! Hillary in 2016!

  5. Maggie Johnson says:

    A. Hernandez & G. Fulmore: You missed a key word in the article….”Latinos make up a DISPROPORTIONATE share of the nation’s uninsured and most could get coverage from the Affordable Care Act or existing programs IF every state expanded Medicaid, according to a federal report released Tuesday.

    Mr. Fulmore, you just don’t understand how insurance works because that is an incorrect definition of how obamacareis meant to work. Hillary in 2016? Sorry, I would not have Hillary as commander-in-chief, she knew Americans were under attack and left them to die.

  6. Howard says:

    Why don’t we just cut out the middleman and extend Medicaid eligibility to the entire population of Mexico? They don’t even have to come to the United States. They can keep their doctors in Mexico, and the doctors will just bill California or Texas for the cost of their Mexican patients’ care.
    Works for me.

  7. Pappy says:

    As you can see from the above posts, tea party Republicans hate the fact that Latinos are getting anything more than a quick deportation. It’s sad that old school moderate Republicans get painted with the same broad brush and are viewed the same as the tea party maniacs. If the GOP is smart, they will kick the tea party wackos out and make them form their own political party. There’s no way the GOP has a future with the crazies!

  8. Jake says:

    This article hardly warrants such lively (albeit insulting) bi-partisan debate, since it doesn’t express any opinions or make any proposals. The entire thing is merely a demographic study. It’s a fact that the latino population in the United States is dosporportionately uninsured. It’s a fact that a significant portion of Californians are Latino. It’s a fact that if California’s latino population were to take advantage of the state’s online exchange, there’s a possibility that a huge percentage could wind up finding affordable insurance plans.
    No one’s advocated for a single thing in this article. Further, it’s a discussion of the eligible uninsured, not the ineligible uninsured (illegal immigrants). So to suggest that anyone (be they tea party republicans or otherwise) is advocating for deportation of uninsured latinos is pretty stupid.

  9. Patrick Pine says:

    Good article and summation. One complicating factor is that there are many “mixed status’ households where some family members are citizens or legal residents but others are not. These households are understandably concerned about that and it acts as a significant deterrent to signing up.
    Separately, I shudder at the vile attacks on so many people who live and work, and yes, pay taxes in our communities. Every time I eat I can presume that over 90 per cent of the time an immigrant had a good deal to do with getting that food to my table. Therefore I would much prefer that those people had access to health care.