Those who primarily speak Spanish are largely being left out of the first wave of coverage under Obamacare. Many missed the late December deadline for enrollment in plans beginning Jan. 1. People must sign up by March 31 or face a penalty.
In part, the lag in sign-ups among Spanish speakers reflects a digital − and a cultural − divide. Many are hesitant about handing over personal information to strangers over the Internet, advocates say. This group tends to be less educated, and have lower incomes and less access to technology than fluent English-speakers.
Health insurance companies are on the prowl for more customers. There are still three months to go for people to enroll in health plans under the Affordable Care Act, but insurers don’t want to rely solely on state or government websites to find them. Some are finding a path to Americans’ inboxes by partnering with companies that operate health-screening kiosks – those machines in supermarkets and drug stores where people check their blood pressure or weight.
State of Health editor Lisa Aliferis talked with KQED Newsroom’s Thuy Vu about the upcoming enrollment deadline. People who want health insurance that starts Jan. 1 need to enroll by 11:59pm Mon. Dec. 23.
I’ve Heard the Government Is Offering Subsidies to Buy Insurance. Tell Me More.
You may qualify for a subsidy — in the form of a tax credit — to help you pay for health insurance. Tax credits are available on a sliding scale, according to your income. More than 2 million Californians will qualify for a tax credit.
Q: Our 24-year-old daughter is employed full-time and her employer offers health insurance. Does she have to enroll in one of their plans or can she stay on ours until her 26th birthday?
A: Young adults and college students will have more insurance options in the new health care landscape than just about any other group, including both the Covered California marketplace and Medi-Cal, depending on their income.
Q: I have been on the Covered California website and the calculator asks for family size, which I presume means the taxpayer plus number of dependents claimed on federal tax forms. If a consumer claims non-child family members (like aging parents) do they count as part of family size?
A: What’s a family? In our shifting social landscape, it could be a single-parent household, a domestic partnership, a same-sex marriage, an unwed cohabitating couple and more.
But when it comes to Obamacare, as Rich from Santa Ana notes, it’s all about taxes.