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Texas Latinos Have Made Huge Strides in Health Care Coverage


by: Emily Cadik

Thu May 15, 2014 at 02:00 PM CDT


Getting Latinos covered was a critical part of making a dent in Texas's vast uninsured population. And while there's plenty more to do, significant gains have been made because of the Affordable Care Act.

A new survey from the Rice University Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Episcopal Health Foundation found that Texas Latinos were much more likely than any other ethnic group to enroll in health insurance through the federal marketplace. These findings are consistent with other data we've seen from the Obama administration showing strong Latino enrollment as a share of overall enrollment in the state.

Read more - and find out how Latinos feel about the ACA - after the jump.

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According to the report, Latinos were more hopeful about what the ACA could mean for them:
"Prior to the opening of the Marketplace, Hispanics were three times as likely to be uninsured as their White counterparts and almost twice as likely to have trouble paying medical bills. Not surprisingly, they had higher hopes for the future than Whites. In March 2014, we asked both groups whether they had enrolled in insurance plans through the Marketplace. Hispanics were more than twice as likely as Whites to enroll. This is a statistically significant difference and is consistent with the relative problems experienced by the two groups prior to the ACA as well as the relatively optimistic expectations of Hispanics."

According to administration data, of the nearly 734,000 Texans who enrolled in 2014 coverage between Oct. 1 and April 19, over one-third were Latino - again confirming that Latinos enrolled at over twice the rate of whites. Only 14 percent were black and 13 percent were Asian, and another third did not list provide any race or ethnicity information.

This means that Texas enrolled a higher share of Latinos than any other state.

One year ago, there were 6 million uninsured Texas, and the progress that has been made over the past year does not change the fact that there are millions more to enroll. But for once, we are moving in the right direction.

"The full impact of the ACA on the Hispanic population will not be known for some time," said co-author and president and CEO of the Episcopal Health Foundation Elena Marks. "As the implementation of the act continues and a second enrollment period begins later this year, the coverage gap between Hispanic and white adults may be reduced."



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