In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today acknowledged more than 20 Hispanic organizations and businesses that have volunteered to help uninsured Americans get coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. These Champions for Coverage will help Latinos, as well as other racial and ethnic minorities, increase access to quality, affordable health coverage, invest in prevention and wellness, and give individuals and families more control over their care.
"A network of volunteers on the ground in every state -- health care providers, business leaders, faith leaders, community groups, advocates, and local elected officials -- can help spread the word and encourage their neighbors to get enrolled," said Secretary Sebelius.
Hispanic Americans are one of the highest uninsured populations in the nation: one in three Latinos lack access to health insurance. The Affordable Care Act will help make health coverage more affordable and accessible for millions of Americans, including Latinos, and help address the health disparities that Latinos and other racial and ethnic minorities face.
In less than a week, the new Marketplace will be open for business where millions of Americans can shop for and purchase health insurance coverage in one place. Consumers will be able to find out whether they qualify for premium assistance and compare plans side-by-side based on pricing, quality and benefits. No one can be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. October 1, marks the beginning of a six-month long open enrollment period that runs through March 2014. Coverage begins as early as January 1, which is less than 100 days from today.
Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, the Administration is intensifying efforts to inform Hispanic Americans about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplaces. These outreach and education efforts will culminate in a National Week of Action to educate, engage, and enroll Latinos in the Health Insurance Marketplaces from October 21 to October 28.
Champions for Coverage are public and private organizations all across the country that are helping people learn about their options and enroll in affordable coverage. The growing list of Hispanic American organizations includes:
Adelante con la Salud
Alliance for a Better Community
American Latino Center for Research, Education & Justice
Campesinos Sin Fronteras
Congreso de Latinos Unidos
Día de la Mujer Latina, Inc.
Eastside Promotoras De La Buena Salud
Health Council of South Florida
Hispanic Liaison of Chatham County
Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools, Inc. (HSHPS)
La Comunidad Hispana
Latino HealthCare Forum
League Of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
Migrant Clinicians Network
Montana Migrant Council, Inc.
Mujer Latina Today
Mujeres Latinas en Acción
National Alliance for Hispanic Health
National Association of Hispanic Nurses - District of Columbia Chapter
National Council of La Raza
National Hispanic Council on Aging
National Hispanic Medical Association
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Latino Behavioral Health Association
Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs
Speak Hispanic Communications
Vision y Compromiso
On October 1, the diverse Latino community will have access to multiple resources to help with enrollment in coverage through the Marketplace. CuidadoDeSalud.gov offers a live web-chat function in Spanish. A paper application will be available in Spanish to serve as a job-aid and resource as Spanish speakers and their families apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov. In addition, trained specialists at certain organizations in the community, such as local health centers, where Latinos are more likely to be served, and libraries, who offer face-to-face help by answering questions or assisting with the application process. A Find Local Help section on both HealthCare.gov and CuidadoDeSalud.gov will ensure people have the right information about where to go for help in their communities, and HHS trained call center staff offers bilingual help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 1-800-318-2596.
To become a Champion of Coverage, visit: http://marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/champion-apply.html.