Months After Affordable Care Act Passes, Latinos Still Uninsured

Only 1 percent of Latinos witnessed a change in their health care coverage under Obama’s Affordable Care Act, according to a new Gallup poll.

A significant portion of the law has yet to go into effect. But Latinos are expected to be the group most to gain from the health care system overhaul since, at 40 percent, they remain the largest uninsured subgroup in the country.

“The health insurance gap Latinos have is one that was created over generations and generations,” Jennifer M. Ng’andu, a health policy specialist at the National Council of La Raza, told Fox News Latino.

The latest polling data from Gallup shows Latinos saw a less than 1 percent change in the amount of people with health insurance coverage from 2011 to 2012. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index looked at quarterly health care coverage across the U.S. for the year of 2012.

Young adults across the country, including Latinos, gained greater access to health care when the act’s measure that allowed those under 26 to stay insured on their parent’s plan went into effect.

Ng’andu cautioned it would take time to notice “the broadest impacts of the law.”

In October, enrollment for the health care marketplace plan begins. But since it will not be fully implemented until 2014, Latinos will not notice a difference in rate of coverage for a while – at least until January of next year.

“It will be a long-term process because we’re creating new parts of a health insurance system,” Ng’andu said.

The goal now, she said, is to make sure Latinos understand the Affordable Care Act’s most significant reforms in order to take advantage of them come October.