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Four Tries a Charm for Enrolling Latinos for Obamacare

After being contacted four times, Latinos and African-Americans were almost as likely as others to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, a group focused on signing people up for coverage reported.

Enroll America, a non-profit with ties to the White House, said its preliminary data shows uninsured consumers, especially the young, Latinos and African Americans, often needed to be contacted multiple times.

Even though African Americans and Latinos started out as significantly less likely to enroll, “by the time they had been contacted four times, that gap significantly shrinks and they were nearly as likely to enroll as other consumers,” the group said in a report analyzing data from its outreach efforts.

President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that 7.1 million people enrolled for coverage by the March 31 deadline, meeting projections despite an enrollment launch featuring a malfunctioning English-language website and delayed start of a Spanish-language website and a GOP-driven government shutdown over funding of Obamacare.

Providing in-person assistance was critical in communities of color. Overall, Latinos and African Americans reached by the group were 43 percent more likely to seek in-person help than whites. The group found that 43 percent of Latinos and 41 percent of whites used local, in-person assistance, compared to a third of whites.

Enroll America operated in 11 states and by the end of enrollment had 27,000 volunteers and more than 2,300 partner organizations. The group said it had contact with 5 million consumers through volunteers, its website and partner groups. It had more than 635,000 one-on-one conversations with consumers.

Spokesman Justin Nisly said the group raised $27 million last year and is not in debt, but declined to provide the cost of the effort.