Disproportionate Number of Hispanic Children in Colorado Without Insurance
In a recently released report by a Georgetown University research center and the National Council of La Raza, Hispanic children in Colorado have a significantly lower amount of healthcare coverage compared to their non-Hispanic peers.
According to the report, the number of Hispanic children without insurance has decreased from more than 50,000 in 2013 to 37,000 in 2014. And compared to the 6% of non-Hispanic children who are uninsured, Hispanic children are currently uninsured at a high rate of 10%.
And while experts like Mirna Ramirez-Castro, director with Servicios La Raza, says that the state is taking the necessary steps to improve, she feels that more can certainly be done.
“It’s not just the coverage but how do we get the community to use their benefits under preventive services and avoiding that emergency care cost,” said Ramirez-Castro. “So there’s still a lot of work to be done, not just in Colorado but nationally.”
Despite the fact that almost 93% of all Hispanic children in Colorado have legal status, and two-thirds are eligible for either free or low-cost health insurance, language barriers and persistent anti-immigrant sentiments continue to be road-blocks for these children.
Meanwhile, it’s becoming increasingly easier for employers to offer their employees benefits. Because of various acts of legislation, such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, companies that have a minimum of 50 full-time employees have to offer benefits to all employees — including those who only work part-time.
The study also found that the number of Hispanic children in the United States without health insurance reached a historically low number in 2014. Coincidentally, this is the same year that the Affordable Health Care Act went into effect.
Open enrollment for the Affordable Health Care Act ended at the end of January. In the hopes of increasing enrollment, people like Sonya Schwartz, a fellow at Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families sought to get the word out and enroll as many children as possible.