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Sen. Menendez Urges Latinos To Enroll, Get Health Care Security

The second chance for signing up for health care coverage begins Saturday. Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez made the rounds to media to help generate interest among Latinos, who still have the highest rates of uninsured among their ranks.

As with other health insurance benefits, each year brings a new chance to find other coverage or to make changes to coverage and as is sometimes the case, for health insurance companies to change prices and or benefits.

Menendez, D-N.J., said he considers the enrollment period that continues through mid-February a "tremendous opportunity for Latinos to have health care security for themselves and their families."

"When I see that 2.6 million Latinos between 18 and 64 gained coverage and more than 7 in 10 were uninsured before signing up ... I know there can be even greater success," Menendez said.

He emphasized that families should not be fearful of seeking coverage because of fear they can't pay or because they have undocumented family members. Financial assistance exists for those who need help paying and information is used only for the coverage purposes, he said.

"One thing I tell our community and others is talk to your neighbors" who have gotten health insurance. With coverage, he advised, Latinos "no longer have to go to sleep at night one illness away from bankruptcy."

The federal government has launched its website in English and Spanish, for consumers to begin doing their shopping for health insurance.