This policy brief from the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, University of California Los Angeles Center for Health Policy Research and University of California Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education uses data from the 2009 California Health Interview Survey and modeling (California Simulation of Insurance Markets) to estimate the number and demographic characteristics of Californians who are expected to used the California Health Benefits Exchange, authorized by the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The policy brief estimates that 2.6 million Californians will be eligible to purchase health insurance and receive federal tax credits through the state health insurance exchange, with 67% being racial and ethnic minorities and 40% being limited English proficient. The limited English proficient eligible population includes 355,000 individuals who speak Spanish and another 95,000 individuals who speak other languages. The California Health Benefits Exchange is planning on making its internet enrollment portal and other enrollment materials bilingual in English and Spanish but is weighing budget considerations whether to offer information and enrollment in additional languages.
The policy brief concludes with the following recommendations:
- Target resources for consumer assistance to those with the highest needs.
- Invest in culturally and linguistically appropriate marketing and outreach.
- Involve communities of color in decision-making processes.
- Strengthen data collection efforts to help identify and address disparities.
- Invest in primary care and workforce diversity in underserved areas.
- Ensure collaboration between state and local government agencies and providers across public programs to maximize enrollment
- Promote prevention and wellness