Latinos feeling left out of health reform

By BenefitsPro


By Kathryn Mayer

If the Obama administration wants the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to be a success, it may want to do a better job marketing it to Latinos.

A new poll of Latinos/Hispanics from impreMedia-Latino Decisions, commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Center for Health Policy, found that most respondents do not understand health reform and most don’t think the administration has done a good job selling it to them.

That’s despite the fact that nearly 35 percent of the uninsured are Latinos.

Only 12 percent of Latino adults feel very informed about PPACA compared to a combined 52 percent who felt either “not all that” or “not that” informed.

Additionally, 69 percent of Latinos think PPACA is confusing and complicated. When asked to name different parts of the PPACA, 71 percent of respondents said they don’t know.

“This is a watershed moment in the American health care system and sadly Latinos are feeling left out,” said Monica Lozano, CEO of impreMedia. “It’s imperative that Latinos understand how the changes under this law will impact them, and how to make the informed decisions for themselves, their businesses and their families.”

Poll after poll have found that most Americans are confused about PPACA, but the findings of the impreMedia-Latino Decisions poll are important because of the significant portion of Latinos and Hispanics who are uninsured.

Though the administration has said that health reform will give Latinos “greater control over their own health care,” only 13 percent of Latinos believe that public officials took the needs of their community into account during the PPACA debate and bill passage.

But there is a silver lining: 89 percent said they are interested in learning more about the law, the poll found.

“Latinos have bore the brunt of a broken health care system for decades,” said Matt Barreto, co-founder of Latino Decisions. “Now that this new health care law is in place, there needs to be significant outreach to Latinos to explain exactly how people can access health insurance and ultimately get access to health care treatments.”

The administration has said it is getting ready for a major marketing push of PPACA in the next few months as important deadlines near. Open enrollment for the exchanges begins Oct. 1, while they officially open Jan. 1, 2014.

In addition to the 35 percent of Latinos that lacked health insurance at some time in the past 12 months, 10 percent said they lost their health insurance during the recession over the past four years.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com