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Immigration Changes to Increase Latino Enrollment

Posted on December 11, 2012 by admin

The Obama administration has made it a priority to bring more Latinos health insurance during Obamacare’s second open-enrollment period. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell recently did interviews for Telemundo and Univision promoting healthcare programs. She also engaged in an online hangout with various Latina bloggers to answer questions. Furthermore, the administration is expanding its reach with radio advertisements geared towards the Latino community, offering tips on how they can enroll in an affordable health plan this year.

Though official numbers have not been released, the administration’s tactics appear to be sound. President Obama’s imminent immigration reform will further the cause.

In a recent statement, President Obama revealed his plans to cut down on the deportation of the parents of United States citizens and permanent residents, as long as they have been in the country for more than five years. He has also stated he will expand the current program that lets undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children remain within the United States. However, while illegal immigrants are not eligible to receive Obamacare, experts still expect a sharp increase in Latino enrollment.

Hispanic citizens with family members who are living in the U.S. illegally are now more likely to get health insurance. Prior to the President’s speech, these Latino Americans had voiced concerns about the threat of their families being deported. They believed that signing up for coverage would lead officials to their doors, revealing the illegal status of their families and resulting in their removal from the country. Now, these fears are being put to bed, and positive results are expected.

Before the first open-enrollment period, the rate of uninsured working-age Hispanic adults sat at an unsettling 36 percent, according to a Commonwealth Fund survey. That number was decreased by more than one-third by the end of the enrollment period to just 23 percent. The same study revealed that the general uninsured rate of the American population had decreased from 16 to 12 percent.

Americans can expect more drastic decreases in these percentages as President Obama uses his remaining time in office to champion the cause of undocumented immigrants. While, as mentioned before, illegal immigrants will not be eligible for care under the Affordable Care Act, their lack of fear regarding deportation will likely result in undocumented Latinos applying and accepting regular jobs that offer employer-based health insurance. Thus, coverage for these undocumented immigrants and their families becomes a result of the President’s immigration reform.