Affordable Care Act and how it affects Latin Americans

A combination of two separate pieces of legislation, the new Medicaid coverage is an umbrella for the…

Affordable Care Act and how it affects Latin Americans
Foto: Wikimedia Commons

A combination of two separate pieces of legislation, the new Medicaid coverage is an umbrella for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. Together, these acts expand Medicaid to ensure millions of low income American receive health care coverage.


For Americans to qualify for the new health care changes, people under the age of 65 who fall below 133% of the FPL (federal poverty level), can be eligible for Medicaid. Every state will guarantee Medicaid to adults without children. Parents within a uniform income level will also qualify. These changes begin in January of 2014.

What does this mean for the Latin Americans?

A Department of U.S. Health and Human Services survey showed in 2010 more than 49 million Americans were without health insurance. The largest minority of these uninsured were Latinos at 15.3 million or 30.7% followed by African Americans at 8.1 million.

The Obama Care, as the Affordable Care Act is often called, will affect all Americans, including Latinos. The new health care act requires all U.S residents have health care either through a private policy or through their work.

Alina Salganicoff, vice-president and director of the Women Health Foundation of Kaiser Permanente says, “There is a big portion of Latinos that don’t have health insurance. This reform will help have access through Medicaid. People that are working and are of low income will have access to health care with subsidize from the government.”

Undocumented young people

The Obama administration has decided to accept requests for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that generally match the criteria of the DREAM Act.

Top things to know about the Affordable Care Act

Aside from a ban on pre-existing conditions, the new health act sees to it that there will not be any more lifetime limits on claims. This lift of limits on essential benefits will mean that approximately 12 million Latinos no longer have to worry about living without special or expensive forms of treatment. In 2014, the existing annual and lifetime limits will be completely banned.

Seniors and people with disabilities will have increased health care security. Under varying circumstances, prescription drugs will be available at a discount on covered brand name drugs. Approximately 4 million Latinos will also be able to exercise preventative medical services that include various medical screenings, annual wellness visits, and even flu shots.

New changes in the Affordable Care Act also mean that more than 900,000 Latino children up to the age of 26 can remain under their parent’s insurance coverage.

The goal of the new Affordable Care Act is to provide essential and affordable health care to all Americans. With the ban on health discrimination, improved security for seniors and the disabled, and a ban in lifetime dollar amounts, all Americans will be able to benefit from the new Affordable Care Act. People can more readily seek medical attention on conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and cancer, and utilize free preventative services such as cancer screenings and mammograms.