California Community

California Health Insurance Exchange Aims to Increase Latino Enrollment

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
12/16/14  7:51 PM PST
California state health insurance initiatives

By Tracy Seipel for the San Jose Mercury News

Twice a day, San Jose insurance agent Ruben Villanueva offers KZSF-AM La Kaliente’s Latino listeners tips about consumer finance and all kinds of insurance.

This month, he’s been reminding his Bay Area-wide audience that Californians need to sign up for health coverage by midnight Monday if they want to be insured on Jan. 1.

It’s a tough sell.

“It’s not that easy to get them interested and excited and motivated about something like this,” Villanueva said.

Many low-income Latinos say they’re just scraping by and can’t afford health insurance while others fear that signing up could alert immigration authorities to the undocumented family members who live with them. And some Latinos seem hesitant to enroll after seeing last month’s uproar when President Barack Obama announced his controversial plan to give temporary legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.

“They know the president recently signed something, but they hear people say they don’t want them here in our country,” said Maria Bonilla-Giuriato, a public affairs consultant in Salinas. “It’s a mixed message.”

Read the Full Article at the San Jose Mercury News.