Tags: Barack Obama | Hispanics | health insurance | Latinos | Obamacare

One-Quarter of Hispanics Lack Health Insurance

By    |   Wednesday, 12 Nov 2014 12:56 PM

One-quarter of the nation's Hispanic residents have no health insurance, the highest uninsured rate of any ethnic and racial group, and when it comes to foreign-born, non-citizen Hispanics, that number leaps to a shocking 49 percent.

Language problems, foul-ups on the Spanish language version of the Obamacare website, CuidadoDeSalud.gov, fears that signing up for healthcare will expose illegal alien family members to deportation and low income have left only 2.6 million out of 10.2 million uninsured Hispanics signed up for health plans, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The Obama administration recently announced it was terminating 112,000 enrollees in Obamacare because they could not prove they were legal U.S. residents, the Journal notes.

Some 21 percent of foreign-born naturalized Latinos have no insurance, as compared to only 14 percent of overall U.S. residents, according to The Washington Post.

While one in six Hispanic children are uninsured, only one in 10 black American children and one in 11 Asian-American children are uninsured, the Post reports.

The numbers emerged from a Pew Research Center survey which found that 17 percent of U.S.-born Hispanics lack health insurance and 39 percent of foreign-born Hispanics are uninsured. Those most likely to be uninsured are working-age Latinos, where 43 percent between the ages of 18 to 64 have no insurance, Pew Research reports.

"Just with Florida and Texas alone," Alejandra Gepp of the National Council of La Raza told the Post, "as long as they don't pass Medicaid expansion, we're going to be left with millions of Latinos uninsured.

"The cost to states of having this large segment of uninsured people is huge, because people end up using emergency room services."

Many Hispanic immigrants are eligible for enrollment in health insurance. Those with a green card must be in the country for five years to qualify for Medicaid, but anyone in the country legally, with a Social Security number, can enroll in Obamacare, the Post reports.

However, just like the English-language Obamacare site, the Spanish-language site ran into serious glitches — the site didn't launch until December and suffered from language problems and a lack of Spanish-speaking enrollment aides, the Journal reports.

Poor translation didn't help. For example, the Obamacare site used the word "prima" for premium, which also means "female cousin" in Spanish, the Post noted.

Pew found that approval of Obamacare among Hispanics dropped from 61 percent to 47 percent in just six months ending in March.

"The hostile atmosphere around immigration and deportations has had a chilling effect on enrollment," Daniel Zingale, of the California Endowment outreach group, told the Journal.

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One-quarter of the nation's Hispanic residents have no health insurance, the highest uninsured rate of any ethnic and racial group, and when it comes to foreign-born, non-citizen Hispanics, that number leaps to a shocking 49 percent.
Hispanics, health insurance, Latinos, Obamacare
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2014-56-12
Wednesday, 12 Nov 2014 12:56 PM
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