Affordable Care Act review – 3 months: Hispanics still not enrolled

With three months into the enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act, the awareness of the health reform is still low: only four in ten Americans know about the Affordable Care Act. Compared to the general market, Hispanics’ awareness and understanding of the Affordable Care Act has faced even bigger challenges.

Hispanics account for 32 percent of the nation’s non-elderly uninsured population, the target group that needs to get enrolled in Obamacare to make it a success. The issues that have made enrolling uninsured Latinos more challenging range from the official Healthcare Spanish language website, cuidadodesalud.gov not been finished to lack of cultural affinity.  On the cuidadodesalud.gov site, the pages where customers select the plans are being redirected to other pages that are in english, creating a disconnect and a problem for non-english speakers.  The lack of cultural affinity is seen in advertising and even in the strategies and language that insurance companies’ sales representatives use to close the deals.

Despite the challenges, the solutions are still at hand. The use of digital technology has made its way into every aspect of Latinos’ daily life, making it one of the most efficient tools to close the gap that continues to exist. There are three ways of enrolling in the Affordable Care Act: online, in person or over the phone; however the buyer’s purchasing cycle can start and finish online.

Grupo Parada, in collaboration with Google, put together one of the most relevant and interactive presentations for the healthcare industry: Enrolling Uninsured Latinos Through Digital Media. At this case study presentation held on October 8th 2013, the experts presented the latest figures of the Latino population in the United States, the realities of this population, their needs regarding health care and strategies to connect with Latinos through digital media.

Through this case study presentation, research showed that:

  • Trust is the key for any of the three enrollment paths to work
  • Online behaviors, trends in search and demand  for information in Spanish are growing in the US
  • Mobile technology is changing the game in Hispanic healthcare communications
  • An understanding of language and culture is essential to creating a connection with Latinos
  • Education on both health related matters and the new healthcare reform is needed
  • Digital media has a big influence on Latinos’ patient-doctor relationships

In order to increase Hispanics’ enrollment in Obamacare there needs to be a change in the approach, taking into consideration what we have learned so far. Hispanics need to understand the new healthcare law deeply, relating it to their culture, to their priorities, to what matters to them, not just by translation. Insurance companies and advertisers have to build trust, that is the key to creating a connection and calling to action. By doing this, 2014’s first trimester can be the game changer.

Join our #GPtalks on Hispanic Healthcare Outreach.