FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2014
Adela de la Torre, [email protected], 213-400-7822
National Immigration Law Center:
ACA Enrollment Data Indicates More Work Must Be Done
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration today provided a more complete picture of the racial and ethnic makeup of the people who have signed up for health insurance through the federal exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act. Of the 5.4 million people who bought insurance through the federal marketplace, approximately 404,000 and 298,000 people self-reported that they were Latino or Asian American, respectively. These numbers do not include demographic information for immigrant-rich states such as New York and California, which have their own state marketplaces and are not required to report race and ethnicity information.
Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, which has worked on reducing barriers to immigrants’ access to the federal marketplace:
“While the demographic information released today is limited — this information does not include the race or ethnicity data for nearly one-third of those who enrolled through the federal marketplace but declined to divulge race or ethnic background, for example — it provides an important snapshot of who is gaining coverage through the Affordable Care Act.
“While any increase in coverage is important, these numbers also validate the concerns we and others have raised for months: The federal marketplaces simply put up too many barriers that prevent immigrant families from buying insurance for themselves or their loved ones. Although some of these barriers have been removed in recent months, corresponding with the late surge in enrollment, others continue to prevent people from getting the coverage they are required to have.
“We hope these sobering statistics will provide renewed incentive to make the improvements so many of us have called for: a complete technical fix to the website that has tripped up so many immigrant families, improved access for people who don’t speak English well, and increased resources for trusted community groups that are best positioned to help immigrants and limited–English proficient individuals apply.
“We will continue to work with partners across the country to ensure that the promise of the Affordable Care Act — to provide as many people as possible access to affordable, quality health care — becomes a reality for all eligible residents.”
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