Insuring the Uninsured: Hispanic Communities
Submitted by Sherry Lansdell RN, BSN
Tags: Affordable Care Act Community Health Nursing Health Care Reform health care systems healthcare system Hispanic Community insurance Policy Commentary
Sherry Lansdell RN, BSN is a George Washington University MBA Student
Despite the improved enrollment from 2014, there are still a percentage of the population that remain without insurance. The Hispanic population continues to be the largest population that have not enrolled and recent limited data indicates a variety of reasons. The biggest promoters of health care are the individuals that provide the service. In order to promote enrollment, we need to use health care providers to be a resource, the educators and the “sellers” of Affordable Health Care.
We have concluded the enrollment process and ACA is in motion. Its only now are we getting data that is identifying who are still left to sign up for benefits. Open enrollment concluded February 1, 2015. We saw a great increase from last year and only 13.2% of Americans remain uninsured (Aspe, 2015). For several states the Hispanic population appears to the largest percentage that remain uninsured. Current percentages are down from 42% to 30% within the last year (Aspe, 2015). While this is an improvement, they are still the largest group that remains uninsured. Some of the primary reasons for this is lack of knowledge, no access and a fear of government (Slavin, 2015). Despite the ACA marketplace giving resources for local help and Spanish translation, it has not had the impact that is needed to promote the compliance for the Hispanic population.
Accessing the Population
Community leaders in areas with large Hispanic populations are recognizing that this population is going to need a different type of approach in order to get compliance. Groups like Enroll American and States with high Latino populations like Arizona, Florida and Texas have local activist attempting to promote social events that encourage education and assistance on signing up for benefits (King, 2015). Understanding the culture and strong family values is needed to get the trust and involvement of this community (Coedu, 2015). As more data is collected, valuable information is becoming available that will allow better solutions to capturing this population. The great efforts that are being promoted by local groups need additional involvement from the health care arena.
Adding to the Solution
Nursing involvement is a resource that can be a link for capturing the uninsured. They are promoters of education, prevention and incorporating ACA education in our standard of care could be easily applied (CN, 2013). Nurses are perceived as trustworthy, approachable and a resource for this population of patients. They have been a great asset in early identification with other important community issues such as child or elderly abuse and suicide. As mandatory reporters we are required to question patients in regards to abuse and self-harm and provide intervention, resources and treatment (CPH, 2015). Education is provided, annual training and compliance to nursing staff and allied health employees. This type of requirement can be easily transferred to ACA and incorporating all health care staff to be a resource and educators to the general population, and aid in compliance.
Healthcare is an important need for the population. Despite the slow roll outs and political debates, health care reform needs to be supported and provided to all individuals in need of coverage. Health care resources need to be utilized to aid in ACA’s progression and maintenance. Community health projects and personnel are need to assist in aiding diversified populations with education and enrollment.
- Aspe. (2015, March 16). HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE AND. Retrieved March 29, 2015, from Aspe.hhs.gov: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2015/uninsured_change/ib_uninsured_change.pdf
- CN. (2013, 9 9). Theories applied in Community Health Nursing. Retrieved 3 29, 2015, from Current Nursing: http://currentnursing.com/nursing_theory/theories_community_health_nursing.html
- Coedu. (2015, March 29). UNDERSTANDING THE Hispanic/Latino CULTURE. Retrieved from Coedu.usf.edu: http://www.coedu.usf.edu/zalaquett/hoy/culture.html
- CPH. (2015, 3 1). Nurses and Mandatory Reporting Laws. Retrieved 3 29, 2015, from CPH and Associates: http://www.cphins.com/blog/post/2013/03/05/nurses-and-mandatory-reporting-laws
- King, L. (2015, 1 23). Effort to Intensify to sign up Hispanics for Health Care. Retrieved 3 29, 2015, from USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/01/22/hispanics-affordable-care-act-enrollment/22182667/
- Slavin, L. (2015, 1 16). ACA outreach effort trying to get word to Hispanic community in Monroe County. Retrieved 3 29, 2015, from ACA Outreach: http://insurancenewsnet.com/oarticle/2015/01/26/aca-outreach-effort-trying-to-get-word-to-hispanic-community-in-monroe-county-a-587613.html#.VRhckPnF8eh