Covered California woos Latinos and African-Americans

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With one month left to go in the current enrollment period, Covered California is making its final push to enroll more Latinos and African-Americans, says Peter Lee, the agency's executive director.

Lee released demographic data about enrollees Thursday at the agency’s board meeting in Sacramento. 

Two months in to the three-month enrollment period, 28 percent of new enrollees are Latino, and 3 percent are African-American, according to Covered California. Those figures are on par with the first signup period.

Lee says the agency is focusing on the more than 300,000 people who have been deemed eligible this time around but have not completed the enrollment process.  He says half of that group is Latino, and 6 percent are African-American. Among the Latinos, about half are Spanish speakers.

"It affirms our strategy to do rich robust marketing and outreach, people are coming in the door but they need help getting across the finish line," says Lee.

Covered California has about three times as many Spanish-speaking customer service representatives as it did last time around, he adds.  The agency also increased its advertising outreach to Latinos and African-Americans.

Lee says service representatives have begun calling those who started their application for enrollment but didn’t finish the process of signing up for a health plan.

Other figures from Covered California:

  • So far in this enrollment period, 18-34-year-olds make up 30 percent of the total enrollees, up slightly from the 29 percent enrolled throughout the first signup period, which ran from Oct. 2013-April 2014.
  • More people, 46 percent, have used agents this enrollment period to sign up for insurance, compared with 39 percent last year. The number of those who have signed up on their own has fallen to 29 percent of the total, down from 41 percent last time around.
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