Although the insurance that José Morales has been relying on has covered his health needs, he stopped by an information meeting to find out about Obamacare.
The 23-year-old IT technician at Latin American Youth Center, where the forum was held, has been using DC Healthcare Alliance, a D.C. government-subsidized insurance plan, because that's what his mother has used. He said the plan even covered care for a knee injury.
Suzanne Gamboa / NBC News
Tania Ruiz, an in-person assistant of the La Clínica del Pueblo, assists José Morales, 23, of Washington, D.C. with the details of the new Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and how it effects his health insurance. The administration has designated next week National Latino Enrollment Week.
On Thursday, he found out the coverage doesn't meet the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare after sitting down with Tania Ruiz, an in-person assistant trained to walk people through the new health care law. She signed him up for an appointment next week at La Clínica del Pueblo in D.C.
"I have not thought about this. This is something new. This is the first time I've heard about Obamacare in detail," he said.
The administration has designated next week National Latino Enrollment Week aimed at getting more Hispanics, who are more likely to lack health insurance than any other racial or ethnic group. The deadline for enrollment this year is March 31.
The forum, organized by the National Council of La Raza with the youth center and La Clínica was designed to attract young people who would not only deal with their own insurance needs, but talk to their families about it as well. A handful of people attended, but officials at the center and La Clínica said they are seeing upticks in interest in the hands-on enrollment assistance they offer.
Porschea Boomer, 22, a student at the center, learned at the forum she didn't automatically lose Medicaid because of Obamacare.
First published February 20 2014, 2:03 PM
Suzanne Gamboa is a senior writer for NBCNews.com. She started in January 2014. Gamboa is responsible for editing, reporting and writing stories about Latinos and how the population's expansion is reshaping the U.S. Gamboa joined NBCNews.com from NBC Latino, where she was political editor, responsible for writing, editing and assigning political coverage.
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Prior to her role at NBC Latino, Gamboa had worked 13 years in the Washington, D.C. bureau of The Associated Press, where she covered politics, immigration and border and U.S.-Mexico issues, veterans, the Texas congressional delegation and most recently race and ethnicity, a beat she helped build. She also worked at the AP in Texas and at the Austin American-Statesman.
Gamboa lives in Washington, D.C.