Survey Finds Colorado Hispanics Uninformed about Obamacare

Most Often Cited Part of the Law is The Section on Fines

May 21, 2013, 09:00 ET from Adelante con la Salud

DENVER, May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A new poll concludes that Colorado Hispanics are largely uninformed about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, and the area of the law Hispanics are most likely to cite is the section dealing with fines for persons who opt not to buy insurance.

The poll, commissioned by the Adelante con la Salud: Latino Health Care Engagement Project and conducted by the firm Latino Decisions, surveyed 401 Hispanics living in Colorado regarding their knowledge of the new health care law, their personal health care status, and how the rising costs of health care impacts their lives.

Overall, the results from this poll indicate there will need to be not only more outreach to the Hispanic community regarding the new law, but information that directly targets this population. When asked about their general knowledge regarding the new law, an overwhelming majority of Hispanics polled (69 percent) said that the ACA is "confusing and complicated." Only 22 percent of those polled feel "well informed" about the law. The perception of the law was consistent across Hispanic demographic groups, including college graduates.

"The results of this survey are of great concern to us, because it's critical that Hispanics learn about the health benefits included within Obamacare," said Melanie Herrera Bortz, co-director with Adelante con la Salud. "The work of our project is essential to providing education and outreach to our community on the benefits of the ACA so that the health outcomes of our community can improve."

When asked to identify specific components of the ACA, the most often cited part of the law, identified by 19 percent of respondents, was the section regarding the fines to be levied against persons who don't opt to purchase insurance. The next most cited section of the ACA was the language in the law regarding the mandate to purchase insurance (18 percent). "This is especially ironic, since there are many aspects of the law, including access to low-cost insurance, that Hispanics can benefit immensely from," said Herrera Bortz

Nearly one-third of the Hispanics surveyed, 31 percent, lacked health insurance during the previous 12 months, with about one-quarter, 24 percent, indicating they did not have coverage at the time the survey was taken.

Hospitals, 27 percent, and doctors, 21 percent, were identified as the most trusted organizations and individuals to deliver information about the ACA to Hispanics. Family and friends were identified as trusted ACA messengers 19 percent of the time.

English is overwhelmingly the preferred language for learning about the ACA among the Hispanics polled, 59 percent, compared with 14 percent who preferred Spanish. More than one-quarter, 27 percent, preferred that the information be presented in a bilingual way.

The term "Obamacare" (38 percent) was preferred over the "Affordable Care Act" (29 percent). Only 14 percent favored identifying the law as the "Healthcare Reform Program."

About the Study's Authors

Drs. Matt A. Baretto, a University of Washington associate professor of political science, and Gabriel R. Sanchez, an associate professor of political science at the University of New Mexico, designed the survey. Their firm, Latino Decisions, is based in Seattle, Washington.

About Adelante con la Salud

Adelante con la Salud: Latino Health Care Engagement Project aims:

  • To educate Colorado Latinas/os about the benefits of the new health care law.
  • To provide Latinas/os with tools to navigate the health care system and how to use health insurance.
  • To encourage Latinas/os to take full advantage of the benefits in the new health care law.

Funding for Adelante con la Salud is provided by the Colorado Health Foundation.

SOURCE Adelante con la Salud