What Health Reform Means for Latinos – and Young Sisters

Mayra Alvarez, Director of Public Health Policy in the Office of Health Reform at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recently wrote an op-ed for NBC Latino encouraging her younger sister Alejandra and others to register for the Health Insurance Marketplace, which opens in October 2013.

The Marketplace is one of the many important provisions of the Affordable Care Act.  The Act means a few other things for Latinos and their families:

  • An estimated 6.1 million Latino Americans with private insurance now have access to expanded preventive services with no cost-sharing which include well-child visits, flu shots, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, and mammograms for women;
  • 3.9 million elderly and disabled Latinos who receive health coverage from Medicare have access to an expanded list of preventive services with no cost-sharing, including annual wellness visits with personalized prevention plans, cancer and obesity screening, and mammograms;
  • Major federal investments to improve quality of care are improving management of chronic diseases that are more prevalent among Latinos; and
  • 736,000 Latino young adults between ages 19 and 25 who would have been uninsured now have coverage under their parent’s employer-sponsored or individually purchased health plan.

The Affordable Care Act will not only expand affordable health insurance options for Latinos it will also help them compare options to find the best plan for their budget, as Mayra notes in her piece:

When the new Marketplaces open for enrollment in October for coverage beginning as soon as January 1, 2014, individuals and small business owners will be able to compare their options for buying health insurance and find the quality plan that best fits their budget.  The Marketplaces will be competitive, transparent, and simple to navigate—and while you’ll be able to shop for coverage over the phone or in person, if you’re like Alejandra, you’ll probably prefer to check out your new options online through the easy-to-use Marketplace website, healthcare.gov.

Read the full piece here.

Julie Chavez Rodriguez is the Associate Director of Latino Affairs and Immigration for the Office of Public Engagement at the White House
Related Topics: Health Care
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