Latinos and young people are among the groups who have not been flocking to enroll in health insurance plans, two groups which the Obama Administration is heavily courting to bolster health care enrollment before the March deadline. At a Google Hangout with Voto Latino's Maria Teresa Kumar on Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urged young Latinos, especially women, to enroll.
"If you don't have health insurance, someone hits your car, or you have a fall on the basketball court, or you have a diagnosis of breast cancer, those issues could bankrupt you for the rest of your life," said Sebelius.
The HHS Secretary stressed the new health care benefits such as preventive and prenatal care, no denials for pre-existing conditions, the ability to shop for lower insurance plans, and the assurance that a person or family member's legal status is not shared with any government agency.
The Administration is hoping more Latinos and young adults sign up before the March deadline. In California, Latinos make up about half of the residents who qualify for a subsidy to help pay for insurance, but only about 30 percent of those who filled out applications but didn't select a plan. Among those who purchased insurance, the new figures showed only 5.5 percent speak primarily Spanish. Moreover, only about a quarter of those participating in California's exchanges were 18- to 35-year-olds.