Certain communities, such as Latinos, have not been enrolling in the exchanges as much as others.
According to the latest data from the health care reform enrollments, Latinos are the ethnic group in the United States that has the greatest amount to gain from purchasing insurance plans but are also the group that are among the least likely to actually sign up.
At least one in every three Latinos in the United States do not have health insurance.
This is a far greater rate of enrollments among the Caucasians and black communities. At the same time, advocates have stated that there are a number of different reasons that the enrollment of Latinos in the health care reform is as low as it is. For example, the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California’s executive director, Xavier Morales, said that “Some of these families have never had insurance in their lives.”
The actual number of Latinos and other minority groups who have enrolled in the health care reform is unknown.
The reason that ethnic group enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act are not know is that the Californian exchange is the only one that asks applicants about their ethnicity and race, and even then, it is an optional question. Outside of California, advocates have stated that is more difficult than anticipated to encourage minority groups to enroll.
According to a survey conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, only 20 percent of black people and 19 percent of Latinos have used the exchanges to look for health insurance. Comparatively, 28 percent of white people have done the same.
In California, under 20 percent of all of the applicants actually identified themselves as being Latino, Hispanic, or of Spanish origin, according to the data from the exchange. Among the Californians who are eligible for a subsidy, it is estimated that 46 percent are Latino. Clearly, there is a considerable gap between those two figures. As that state’s exchange is often considered to be a model for the rest of the country, its data is being closely monitored.
Among the reasons that Morales identified for avoiding health care reform enrollment by Latinos included: fear of deportation of family members, lack of awareness of the exchanges, and skepticism regarding affordability and benefits.