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Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Online Obamacare Enrollment In Spanish Delayed

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The administration expects that 70 percent of online signups for the marketplaces will come via the English-language site, and even Latino enrollment will largely happen in English.  It is not uncommon for Spanish-language government websites to roll out more than a year after the English version.

But with all of the marketing efforts highlighting Oct. 1 as the beginning of open enrollment, Ng’andu says there will be people who go to cuidadodesalud.gov on on launch day seeking information. The administration “needs to accurately relay where people can go to get help - we cannot lose people because of the fact that a website was not functioning.”

But Dr. Jane Delgado, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health in Washington,  says “it’s better to get it right than to make mistakes. We want good information. We’re so used to people throwing something up in Spanish and it not being very good.”

Other ACA advocates also downplayed the delay.

“I think it’s very important to keep the perspective that there are 182 days in the enrollment period,” adds Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a nonprofit group in Washington with close ties to the administration. “This is a marathon not a sprint. What happens on day one is no more important than what happens in the other 181 days.” The real issue, he adds, is “how effectively glitches are fixed and how quickly it happens.”

This is not the first time, however, that advocates have voiced concerns about the administration’s Latino outreach efforts.

In July, Manuela McDonough of NCLR said she worried that the translation of www.cuidadodesalud.gov was “not culturally competent,” and the White House’s “strategies and tactics for reaching Latinos is off.” A NCLR survey found that Hispanic health centers and community organizations did not believe they had the funding and resources to carry out the sign-up process for Latinos.

Insurance companies, however, are filling in some of the gaps. WellPoint and other Blues insurers in six states signed deals with Spanish-language media network Univision to be the exclusive health insurance sponsor of the network’s Peabody-award winning health initiative, “Salud Es Vida,” which means Health Is Life. The deal gives the company direct access to nearly three-quarters of the Spanish-speaking TV audience that tunes into the popular network.

Thu, Sep 26 2013

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