By Katherine Vargas
White House blog
As part of our Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, the White House is launching a new blog series focused on how affordable, quality health care can enhance the lives of Hispanic Americans. This week, we focus on how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will benefit young Latinos.
Young adults are the age group most likely to be uninsured. Although young people are generally healthy, access to health care, including preventive care and health education, is important to continued good health throughout their lives. Under the health care law, flu shots, birth control and other preventative services are also available without having to pay a co-pay or deductible.
Before health reform was enacted, many young Americans lost their health insurance when they left home or graduated from school. College students or young people in their first job were often forced to choose between paying their rent or maintaining their health insurance. The Affordable Care Act changed this, by allowing young adults to be on their parents’ plan until age 26. This policy has already benefitted 913,000 Latino young adults who otherwise would have been uninsured.
For those young people who are not covered by their parents, under the ACA, they are eligible to get financial assistance to pay for insurance via the new Health Insurance Marketplace that opens on October 1st.
When the new Marketplaces open for enrollment in October, for coverage beginning as soon as January 1st, 2014, individuals and small business owners will be able to compare their options for buying health insurance and find the quality plan that best fits their budget.
You’ll be able to shop for coverage over the phone, in person, or you can check out your new options online through the easy-to-use Marketplace website, HealthCare.gov.
To raise awareness regarding Latinos and the Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) and National Council of La Raza will host a live bilingual Twitter chat on Thursday, September 26th featuring Mayra Alvarez, Associate Director in the Office of Minority Health at HHS; Elianne Ramos of LATISM; and Gina Rodriguez, Latino Affairs Liaison, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs at HHS.
Another way for you to get involved is by participating in HHS’s Young Invincibles Video Contest. The Healthy Young America contest encourages young people to get health insurance and take advantage of the new options available. If you submit a video, you can compete to win from a prize pool of up to $30,000 – and over 100 prizes!
The Affordable Care Act is already working for millions of Latinos. By encouraging young Latinos to get enrolled, we can ensure that all Americans will have access to better and more affordable health insurance.
Katherine Vargas is the White House director of Hispanic Media.