Latinos Not Prepared for Looming Changes in the U.S. Health Care System

Latinos Not Prepared for Looming Changes in the U.S. Health Care System


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impreMedia and Latino Decisions in conjunction with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Health Policy Center, today released key findings of a national Latino poll indicating that less than a quarter of Latinos feel well informed about the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The results of the tracking poll were released as part of the “We The People, Health Care Symposium” sponsored by impreMedia, The Latino Coalition and AltaMed, held today in Washington, D.C. With more than 46 million uninsured people living in the U.S., nearly 35% of the uninsured are Latinos. The symposium brought a collective group of some of the country’s top medical experts, business leaders and advocates to discuss how healthcare under the ACA will play a heightened role in the lives of Latinos across the country.

Signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010, the ACA is landmark legislation including comprehensive health care reforms that will roll out through 2014. However, the impreMedia-Latino Decisions poll found that 69% of Latinos think the ACA is confusing and complicated. When asked to name different parts of the ACA, 71% of respondents said, “don’t know” yet 89% said they are interested in learning more about the law.

“This is a watershed moment in the American health care system and sadly Latinos are feeling left out,” said Monica Lozano, CEO of impreMedia. “It is imperative that Latinos understand how the changes under this law will impact them, and how to make the informed decisions for themselves, their businesses and their families.”

Only 13% of Latinos believe that public officials took the needs of the Latino community into account during the ACA debate and bill passage. Despite having limited awareness about the legislation, 75% indicated that the ACA would be good for the Latino community in the long run.

The ACA changes come at a time when health care costs are creating significant burdens on Latino families. The poll found that 35% of Latinos lacked health insurance at some time in the past 12 months and an additional 10% said they lost their health insurance during the recession over the past 4 years – all told that is 45% of Latinos who have not had permanent and regular access to health insurance.

“Latinos have bore the brunt of a broken health care system for decades,” said Matt Barreto, Co-founder of Latino Decisions. “Now that this new health care law is in place, there needs to be significant outreach to Latinos to explain exactly how people can access health insurance and ultimately get access to health care treatments. Very large majorities of Latinos are telling us in this poll they want and need more information about the ACA.”

The poll found that 49% indicated that their health care costs have increased in the past year and 76% said rising costs have created a significant financial burden. In fact, more than a quarter said because of these costs that they of family members have skipped recommended medical tests or treatment and have been unable to pay for basic necessities like food or housing.

The poll also revealed that there is a variety of effective ways to reach Latinos about the ACA including distribution of information that is bilingual and culturally relevant – not just a literal translation. In addition, use of credible, trusted sources of information such as hospitals, community centers, health care professionals and Spanish-language media is also important. In fact, 76% of Latinos indicated that they would be likely to enroll in the ACA if they were asked to do so by a Latino doctor or nurse and were given more information about the legislation.

All References to the poll must be as follows: impreMedia-Latino Decisions Poll. For more information on the poll, please go to .

Latino Decisions and impreMedia partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico in the design of the survey focused on Latinos knowledge and attitudes toward the Affordable Care Act. All phone calls were administered by Pacific Market Research in Renton, Washington. The poll was overseen by Drs. Matt Barreto and Gabriel Sanchez- both experts in Latino public opinion. A total of 800 completed interviews were conducted with Latino adults. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.4%. Respondents were interviewed by telephone, and could choose to be interviewed in either English or Spanish. A mix of cell phone only and landline households were included in the sample, and both samples are weighted to match the 2010 Current Population Survey universe estimate of Latinos. The survey was approximately 20 minutes long and was fielded from April 11, 2013 through April 25, 2013.

impreMedia is the leading Hispanic news and information company in the U.S. in online and print. impreMedia's multi-platform offerings include: print, digital, mobile and events. Twenty-six percent of U.S. Hispanic adults use an impreMedia product. impreMedia is also the nation's largest Hispanic newspaper publisher with publications in top U.S. Hispanic markets, reaching 15 markets total that represent 57% of the U.S. Hispanic population. Its leading publications include La Opinión in Los Angeles, and El Diario/La Prensa in New York, both of which are 2012 NAHP Gold (La Opinión) and Silver (El Diario/La Prensa) award winners for outstanding Spanish daily. For more information, visit: .

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Latino Decisions is a joint effort between Pacific Market Research, a nationally known research firm, and Dr. Gary Segura and Dr. Matt Barreto, leading Latino politics scholars and professors at Stanford University and the University of Washington. Both Dr. Segura and Dr. Barreto are experienced and nationally respected researchers who have a deep understanding of U.S. Latino culture and advanced quantitative research skills. Their expertise, coupled with Pacific Market Research’s logistical capabilities, makes Latino Decisions a leader in the field. For more information, please visit or call 877-271-2300.