Insight & Analysis / The Push to Enroll Hispanic Coloradans
With 10 days left to enroll in health insurance on Connect for Health Colorado, all eyes are on the numbers.
As of March 17, more than 250,000 Coloradans have enrolled in health insurance - 151,050 in Medicaid and 100,112 in commercial health insurance, reports Connect for Health Colorado.
As the end of open enrollment quickly approaches, we are seeing a push to enroll Coloradans, especially those who belong to the demographic groups most likely to be uninsured. Hispanics are among the groups being given extra attention in the home stretch.
Data from the 2013 Colorado Health Access Survey show that Hispanic Coloradans are disproportionately uninsured. Approximately 25.5 percent of the population identifies as Hispanic, but Hispanics represent 38.6 percent of the uninsured. Among Hispanic Coloradans of all ages, about one of five (21.8 percent) was uninsured in 2013.
A February report by the Department of Health and Human Services found that 20.9 percent (181,000) of the total eligible Hispanic population in Colorado (867,000) is uninsured. Of the 181,000, 59.2 percent live in the Denver-Boulder Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Immigration concerns are high on the list of factors that may be responsible for low enrollment numbers among Hispanics. A Health Affairs blog posted on Tuesday – Why Are Hispanics Slow to Enroll in ACA Coverage? – covers this and other reasons. The group is more likely to report not needing health insurance compared to other racial and ethnic groups, according to the Urban Institute’s Health Reform Monitoring Survey (HRMS) cited in the blog. Hispanics are also more likely to have low levels of health insurance literacy.
To reach Hispanics, targeted outreach and enrollment activities in these last few days will be ramping up across the state, with in-person events conducted in both English and Spanish.