What the Health Law Means for the Latino Community
By Leon Rodriguez, HHS Director, Office for Civil Rights
Across the country, more than 50 million Latinos are part of our communities, classrooms and workplaces. And thanks to the health care law, the Affordable Care Act, an estimated 5.4 million Latinos will gain insurance coverage by 2016 under the new law, according to an issue brief released by HHS today (go here to read it in Spanish). Just two years after it was passed, the health care law has already improved health outcomes and increased access to care for Latinos by:
- Extending coverage to an estimated 736,000 Latino young adults under a provision that allows them to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26,
- Expanding access to preventive services with no-cost sharing to an estimated 6.1 million Latino Americans with private insurance, and
- Requiring most health insurance plans to cover prevention and wellness services like cancer screenings, flu shots , and pap smears and mammograms for women, with no cost-sharing.
While 16.3 percent of Americans are currently uninsured, the percentage of Latinos without health insurance is even higher at 30.7 percent. As the law continues to be implemented:
- Latinos of all income levels who would otherwise be uninsured will have access to health insurance through new Affordable Insurance Exchanges and as a result of expanded Medicaid coverage,
- Latino Americans suffering from a chronic disease—like the estimated 4.3 million Latino adults who are currently living with diabetes—will have access to new care innovations, like community health teams, that will help them manage their illness, and
- Latinos living in medically underserved areas will have access to new community health centers and preventive and primary care services.
To learn more about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the health of the Latino community, join our Spanish-language Twitter chat today, April 10. You can join in the conversation starting at 2pm EST by following the #LaSaludLatina hashtag and at @HHSLatino.