Enrollment of Obamacare exceeds expectations but not for Latinos

Enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace exceeded expectations with more than eight million but the final count for Latinos is disappointing, according the U.S. Department…
Enrollment of Obamacare exceeds expectations but not for Latinos

Hispanics not enrolling in Obamacare.(AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

Enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace exceeded expectations with more than eight million but the final count for Latinos is disappointing, according the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) .

SEE ALSO: Obamacare and employer-based health coverage: What you need to know

The percentage of latinos eligible for coverage is 14,5 but they represent only 10.7 percent of the enrollees.

Younger and healthier than the U.S. population as a whole, Hispanics, the nation’s largest minority group as well as its least insured, were viewed as crucial to the success of President Barack Obama’s health insurance coverage expansion, reports the AP.

According to 2012 Census figures, 29 percent of all Hispanics were without coverage compared to about 17 percent of African-Americans, 15 percent of Asian-Americans and 10 percent of whites.

Immigrants who are in the United States undocumented cannot participate in the new health insurance system, but many have eligible relatives who are citizens or legal residents.

“More than eight million Americans signed up through the Marketplace, exceeding expectations and demonstrating brisk demand for quality, affordable coverage,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

“In addition, over 4.8 million more people have been covered by states through Medicaid and CHIP programs, around 3 million more Americans under 26 are covered under their parents’ plans, and recent estimates show that an additional 5 million people have purchased coverage outside of the Marketplace in Affordable Care Act-compliant plans.  Together we are ensuring that health coverage is more accessible than ever before, which is important for families, for businesses and for the nation’s health and wellbeing.”

The key findings of the report include the following:

  • 8,019,763 people selected Marketplace plans from October 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014, (including additional Special Enrollment Period activity through April 19th).  Nearly 2.6 million signed up in the State Based Marketplaces and over 5.4 million in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace.
  • About 3.8 million people, including nearly 1.2 million young adults (ages 18 – 34), enrolled in the Health Insurance Marketplace plans in the sixth and final reporting period, which began March 2 and concluded on April 19.
  • Those 3.8 million individuals represent nearly 90 percent growth over February’s cumulative enrollment
  • Of the more than 8 million:54 percent are female and 46 percent are male
  • 34 percent are under age 35
  • 28 percent are between the ages of 18 and 34
  • 65 percent selected a Silver plan, while 20 percent selected a Bronze plan
  • 85 percent selected a plan with financial assistance

The federal Marketplace also reported, for the first time this month, the race/ethnicity of its enrollees.

The application for coverage through the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (FFM) contains questions on race and on ethnicity, both marked as optional. Thirty-one percent of enrollees did not report their race or ethnicity or chose “other.”  However, of those enrollees who reported race and ethnicity:

  • 62.9 percent of those reporting are white
  • 16.7 percent are African American
  • 10.7 percent are Latino
  • 7.9 percent are Asian
  • 1.3 percent are multiracial
  • 0.3 percent are American Indian/Alaska Native
  • 0.1 percent are Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

SEE ALSO: Latinos encouraged to enroll in Obamacare 

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