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Why eligible latinos should enroll in health insurance NOW

Posted at 1:13 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 15:13:56-05

Every person deserves the opportunity and ability to live a healthy life, and quality, affordable, accessible health coverage is essential to realizing this goal. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has expanded access to health coverage for millions of Americans of every age, including Latinos. The overall Latino uninsured rate has dropped 10.9 percentage points from nearly 30% in 2013 to 19% in 2017.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Since the implementation of the ACA, over 20 million Americans, including at least four million Latino adults and 600,000 Latino children, gained coverage.
  • Prior to COVID-19, the Latino uninsured rate was around 19% compared to 6 percent for non-Hispanic Whites.
  • According to an UnidosUS poll on Latino health concerns, almost 90% of Latinos expressed concern that the Supreme Court may overturn the ACA, which would unravel the health care system and increase the already high Latino uninsured rate.
  • Gains in coverage have contributed to better access to health care services and improved health outcomes for millions of Latinos across the country.
  • 27% of Latinos who remain uninsured are eligible for financial help to afford health coverage.

The ACA is still the law and the 2021 open enrollment period under this act has decreased from three months to only 45 days, running November 1–December 15, 2020. There is much confusion and misunderstanding about the current state of the ACA and it is critical to make sure all eligible Latinos have the information they need to continue or begin their health coverage before the deadline.

Steven Lopez is the Director of the Health Policy Project within the Policy and Advocacy component. As director, Mr. Lopez sets the overall strategic goals and priorities for the Health Policy Project in order to maximize impact and influence at the federal and state levels, as well as increase Latinos’ opportunity and ability to achieve optimal health. Lopez oversees a portfolio that includes health coverage and care, including the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, as well as nutrition and food insecurity, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Recently, Mr. Lopez has contributed to a variety of research projects and publications, including two health polls of Latino voters in 2016 and 2018. Additionally, Steven researched and published pieces with Georgetown colleagues: “Historic Gains in Health Coverage for Hispanic Children in the Affordable Care Act's First Year” (2016) and “Hispanic Children’s Coverage: Steady Progress, but Disparities Remain” (2014). Lopez also has been quoted in various media outlets including The New York Times, Politico, Bloomberg News, AP, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. Steven’s professional experiences before joining UnidosUS range from being a part of the legislative staff of former Congresswoman Hilda Solis (D-CA) to leading health policy and planning efforts focused on obesity prevention in the South Texas border region.