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Enrollment Push Targets Latinos

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About a third of all Latinos in Florida are uninsured and would be able to buy health care through the federally-run insurance exchange. It’s a group that tends to be a little younger and a little less sick.

Health care analysts predict that getting those low-risk customers covered will be key to making sure the insurance plans stay solvent.

But getting them to sign up has been a challenge, which is why some non-government groups are stepping in to market Obamacare to Florida’s Latinos.

“A lot of our audience doesn’t have experience with health insurance,” said Stephen Keppel director of empowerment initiatives for Univision, one of the media partners involved in a Spanish-language Town Hall today with President Obama.

This high-profile push by the president comes as the March 31 deadline for health insurance creeps closer, and Latinos enrollment lags in major states including California and Florida.

A lot of people from Latin America and the Caribbean come from countries with a single payer system. They have a completely different notion of what health care means: copays, deductibles, networks—they’re foreign concepts.

Outside of regular news coverage, Keppel says Univision is folding educational information about insurance into entertainment programing—like the variety show “Sabado Gigante” and the morning talk show “Despierta America.”

There’s also been a grassroots efforts on the part of individual churches and community groups to get the word out.

And Florida Blue has stepped in with its own marketing strategy for Latinos.

The insurance company is working with Hispanic bloggers. It’s developing mobile apps in Spanish. And it’s partnering with the drug store Navarro and with health centers, where a lot of uninsured Latinos already access care.