Healthcare Companies Race to Win Hispanic Consumers (WSJ Article)
A recent article published in the Wall Street Journal explains why U.S. HIspanics represent a big opportunity for insurers. To read the entire article (subscription only) please click here
ATLANTA—Insurers and the Obama administration are racing to sign Hispanics up for coverage under the federal health overhaul, eager to reach a segment of the U.S. population that offers huge opportunity but also presents many challenges.
When WellPointInc. asked a group of 20 uninsured Hispanics to review educational materials on the new law earlier this year, many had simple questions: What is health insurance? And how does it work?
About 10.2 million of the 53 million Hispanics in the U.S. are uninsured and could qualify for coverage under the law, according to estimates from the Obama administration.
As a group, they are also young and healthy—an appealing demographic for health insurers. So it is little surprise that a race is on to connect with them in the weeks before new health-insurance exchanges launch Oct. 1.
“The success of the Affordable Care Act really hinges on the ability to reach the Latino community and get them enrolled,” said Jennifer Ng’andu, director of health and civil-rights policy at the National Council of La Raza, a Latino advocacy group.
According to census data, 30% of Hispanics are uninsured, the highest rate among racial and ethnic groups, although not all would qualify for coverage under the new health law. Latinos as a whole have a median age of 28, compared with 37 for the overall U.S. population.
But signing them up won’t be easy. Some don’t speak English. Even with government-provided subsidies, many may not be able to afford insurance, given that Hispanics’ median household income—$39,000 in 2011—significantly trails the national average, which was $51,000 that year.
To read the entire article (subscription only) please click here