Latinos living in the U.S. who are eligible for health coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) are taking action to get health insurance. But signs indicate that not all who qualify for the free or reduced-premium coverage are taking advantage of it.
A Commonwealth Fund study found that in states that have expanded Medicaid coverage, the uninsured rate of Latinos fell significantly. Meantime, in the 25 states that have not done so, there was virtually no change in the uninsured rate.
Overall, the numbers look good, Commonwealth said, especially among Latinos ages 19 to 34, where the uninsured rate dropped from 43 percent to 23 percent in April–June 2014, after PPACA’s first open enrollment ended.
“The uninsured rate among non-elderly Latino adults speaking predominantly Spanish, a group historically among the most likely to be uninsured, dropped from 49 percent to 30 percent. Nearly seven of 10 (68 percent) Latinos with new coverage through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act were uninsured prior to obtaining this new insurance,” Commonwealth reported in a brief, Catching Up: Latino Health Coverage Gains and Challenges Under the Affordable Care Act, Results from the Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey.
However, the report said, “there are stark differences in Latino uninsured rates in states that have expanded Medicaid and those that have not. In the 25 states and District of Columbia that had expanded Medicaid by the time of the survey, the uninsured rate for Latinos fell from 35 percent to 17 percent. In states not expanding Medicaid, the uninsured rate for Latinos remained largely unchanged at 33 percent.”