Covered California Faulted for Low Latino Enrollment

Chad Terhune, Los Angeles Times, January 21, 2014

California keeps signing up people for Obamacare policies at a rapid clip, but the state’s struggle to reach uninsured Latinos is drawing more criticism.

The Covered California exchange said Tuesday that more than 625,000 people have enrolled statewide in health plans through Jan. 15 as part of the Affordable Care Act. Even though enrollment opened in October, more than 500,000 of those enrollees signed up in just the last six weeks.

That surge in volume has often overwhelmed the state exchange and many of its participating health plans. Covered California said 40% of enrollees surveyed said the sign-up process was “difficult,” and the average wait time at the state’s call centers hit 49 minutes this month.

Supporters of the healthcare law say those broader service issues are hampering enrollment among Latinos, who are expected to be among the biggest beneficiaries of President Obama’s signature law.

An estimated 1.2 million, or 46%, of the 2.6 million Californians eligible for federal premium subsidies are Latino. But Covered California said only 20% of enrollees through the end of December described themselves as Latino on their application.

“Latino enrollment is still falling short given how big a share of the uninsured they are in California,” said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation. “Without reaching Latinos in large numbers, it’s hard to reach the enrollment goals overall. It also means people are going without benefits they are eligible for.”

Some state lawmakers say they are running out of patience over the slow sign-ups among Latinos. They fault the state exchange for a shortage of enrollment counselors in the field and for not publishing a paper application in Spanish until late last month. They worry that missing out on this relatively young and healthy population could undermine the viability of the exchange.


The state recently boosted its advertising aimed at Latinos and began sending mailings to 1 million Spanish-speaking households. The new outreach focuses on the premium assistance that many people will qualify for and the availability of no-cost preventive care under the healthcare law. Latinos represent more than half of California’s 7 million uninsured people.

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, said that “it’s a longer educational process” for many uninsured Latinos who have had little experience with health insurance.

“We have much work to do over the next three months to build on our outreach to this important population,” Lee said. “In-person enrollment will be more critical in the Spanish community.”

The state has about 3,600 certified enrollment counselors and more than half of them speak Spanish, according to Covered California. That’s far short of the state’s original goal of 20,000 enrollment workers in the field overall. About 10% of the exchange’s call-center workers speak Spanish.


Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • MekongDelta69

    What’s the Hispandex population of Mexifornia up to now? 50 Billion or so?

    • Luca

      They can’t be counted. They are hopping the fence quicker than you can utter a number.

      • Max

        We need something running like that “Debt Clock” or whatever it is called to show the running total cost to America of immigrants.

  • Oil Can Harry

    So not only do we have to support these loafers with our taxes, we now have to shell out even more moolah for advertising and “counselors” to get these shiftless bums to accept their freebies.

    • So CAL Snowman

      Latinos are too lazy to even enroll for their freebies and of course it’s ALL Whitey’s fault for not spending more money on Spanish language materials and Spanish speaking counselors.

  • Spartacus

    Pathetic… They’re angry the parasites aren’t sucking their money fast enough.

  • But wait, we were told that the success of ObamaDontCare was entirely incumbent on young healthy people signing up and paying the exploitatively high premiums and co-pays and deductibles so that everyone else can ride on their backs.

    • r j p

      My cousin who works in a hospital system told me that the penalty is ~$3000 per year for not signing up at year 2020. Also told me the loss guarantees for insurers end in 3 years.

  • Greg Thomas

    These idiots are really something else. Why would hispanics sign ip for something when they can get the same service for free down at the local emergency room.

    “Latinos represent more than half of California’s 7 million uninsured people.”

    Yeah, and they also represent about 90% of those in this state / country illegally.

  • So CAL Snowman

    L.A Times headline for Dec 13, 2020 :

    “California Whites Faulted For Not Handing Over Wallets To Latinos”

    • Whiteplight sees the Emperor N

      Add: “White women chastised for not complying with sexual demands of immigrants.”

  • Luca

    Once they do sign up watch how many will be signing up for a “lap band”. They may be poor, but by God, they sure aren’t underfed.

    • Katherine McChesney

      You should see their groceries. When I shopped at Vons and Albertson’s in Santa Monica I noticed Pinto beans were sold in bags as large as bed pillows and cheese in bags the size of throw pillows. Their carts lacked vegetables. Everything was fattening.

  • bigone4u

    “Mañana, amigo. Mañana. Eeet canz wait. Jose, where eeez dat tequila? Where you did weets mee porn? Mee want siesta. Insurance? Wat is dat, amigo?”

    • r j p

      You forgot the part where after the immigrant from the south drinks his tequila and watches his porn, he then wants to break in one of the 12 year old girls that lives in the 2 room apartment occupied by 30 people.

      • bigone4u

        From Mexico, at age 12 she’s already been broken in. Incest and pedophilia are a major problem with Mexicans–one the MSM in the USA, along with the cops, are covering up.

        • Max

          Oh, that can’t be accurate. These natural Republicans are the guardians of “family values” Ask Boehner.

  • Greg Thomas

    If hispanics are such “hard workers,” why are they too lazy to sign up for obamacare,
    even when they have access to fellow La Raza (habla espanol) to complete the process? We all know the answer to that rhetorical question.

    • Bossman

      If they are illegal immigrants, they can’t sign up. If they are young and healthy, there will be less of an urge to sign up.

      • nativist

        There is no ID requirement for Covered California and I have yet
        to read of any mestizo being turned away because of his illeglaity
        of residence in our state.

      • “Save” the money?

        I just squirted high-octane Irish coffee out both nostrils. Fortunately, nobody was watching while I lapped it up off my desk.

      • Greg Thomas

        Like I said, illegal mexicans will continue to abuse the emergency room at our expense, while “saving” their illegally earned money.

        • Ella

          Then, send 20 billion down to Mexico to build large homes and semi-retire.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Uh, lotsa luck finding a doctor that accepts Covered California:

    70% of California doctors are boycotting California’s Obamacare exchanges

    http //www // examiner // com/article/70-of-california-doctors-are-boycotting-california-s-obamacare-exchanges

    Next in store? The super majority democrat legislature will pass a law requiring ALL doctors in the state to accept Covered California as a condition of practicing medicine.

    Then, we’ll have NO doctors left.

    • IstvanIN

      The Dr. Patels and Muhammads will figure a way to milk the system.

      • Max

        This is particularly of import to my family as my wife has worked in a variety of health care technologies for many years. I guessed a long time ago that the ACA would drive competent (read: white) physicians and ancillary health care employees out of the general market and into elective specialties or even other professions. This will create a void which will then of course demand the importation of swarms of browns from Whogivesacrapastan U. To fill the positions. The American blacks, Hispanzees and various mud-hutters from around the world and possibly other planets will not care, so long as YT is paying the bill and again, whites get screwed.

    • r j p

      Insurers are leaving the Obamacare exchanges as well.

    • Brian

      But we’ll all be EQUALLY miserable….so…victory?

  • Whitetrashgang

    Their to busy spending their welfare cheques and drinking. See Obama care doesn’t cover free beer which is a big mistake.All doctors offices should sell beer to get the latinos the coverage they deserve.

    • NeanderthalDNA

      “All doctors offices should sell beer to get the latinos the coverage they deserve.”

      Leave off that whiskey and let that cocaine be!

      Sure you wouldn’t consider getting a check-up more often yerself under those circumstances, bro? (HA HA!)

      Just pickin’.

  • Who Me?

    Hispanics aren’t TOTALLY stupid. They have no reason to sign up for something that they will have to pay a nominal fee for when they already get it for free. They already know they can mosey on down to the nearest hospital’s emergency room and get top of the line medical care and never have to pay a cent. Why upset that sweet deal by signing up for something that even they can see is likely to be a pig in a poke?

  • Truth Teller

    The Hispanics are covered either by the free county clinics, Medicaid or affirmative action government employee insurance. No need to sigh up

  • WR_the_realist

    Supporters of the healthcare law say those broader service issues are
    hampering enrollment among Latinos, who are expected to be among the
    biggest beneficiaries of President Obama’s signature law.

    You win no prizes for guessing which race is expected to be bear the greatest costs of President Obama’s signature law.

  • bubo

    As others have said, all a typical mestizo is going to do is walk into the nearest ER. They know they can’t be turned away and will never have to pay.

    The third world doesn’t think like the first world. Why can’t these allegedly smart people understand this simple fact?

  • Kit Ingoldby

    Latino’s not signing up for insurance. Raaaaaacism!

    It rained yesterday. Raaaaaacism!

    Is there anything that isn’t the fault of White people?

  • Brian

    ‘The Spanish community’. Yeah, because we’re talking about _Spaniards_ here, right?

    • Katherine McChesney

      Latinos. The use of ‘Hispanic” for Mexicans is a misuse of the term. Hispanics are from Spain.

      • Brian

        That is incorrect.

        adjective: Hispanic
        1. of or relating to Spain or to Spanish-speaking countries, esp. those of Latin America.

        noun Hispanic; plural noun: Hispanics
        1. a Spanish-speaking person living in the US, esp. one of Latin American descent.

  • Whiteplight sees the Emperor N

    Why would Hispanics sign up? They already know they can go to any ER and get free treatment. Besides, they lack the skills to fill out the application so signing up would be a one by one project. Maybe the Lutherans and Catholics can get together and “make it happen.”

  • Max

    I wonder what sort of expensive and convoluted affirmative-action populated “outreach program” they will now have to devise to get all of these “people in the shadows” to even sign up for this damnable program.

    It just never ends.

  • Me speaka de no English. Not no sign up. Que? Me has mucho tequila. Me not remember own nombres.

    Anyone can say that. The last time I was at a hospital emergency room, I told them in plain English that I was an illegal alien, that I didn’t want to be “treated” anyway, and that I would never give them my name or address. If the illegals get to pass the costs of their treatment on to paying customers, I will also not be a paying customer.

    • IstvanIN

      What did they do with you? Did they toss you out?

      • They took blood against my will, by sticking a syringe into my arm, which constitutes assault, and then held me under guard for eight hours, which is unlawful detainment. The pretense was to see whether I had suffered a concussion after the bloodwork came up clean.

        • IstvanIN

          How did you end up in the emergency room against your will…..there is a piece of the3 story missing…

          • I was hit by a motorist. Orcs do not need medical care after accidents. I got up by myself and walked halfway home: two miles out of four.

          • IstvanIN

            So the cops took you against your will?

          • Yes, but they didn’t call it an “arrest”, and I was still a bit dizzy.

  • prunepit

    “…Latinos who have had little experience with health insurance.” Not just health insurance – any sort of insurance that requires personally paying a premium – auto insurance, for example.