Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
HNF Stories

Minority Signups for Marketplace Strong in FL

JodiRayDecember2014.JPG

Black and Hispanic Floridians are signing up for insurance on HealthCare.gov in big numbers.

Since enrollment for 2015 coverage began Nov. 15, more than 673,000 state residents have signed up on the federal marketplace. And the leader of the state's largest effort to recruit and assist people in enrollment said Thursday that 30 percent of the people they've helped so far are Hispanic. Another 25 percent are African American.

These numbers almost mirror the ethnic breakdown of uninsured residents in Florida, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of U.S. Census data.

Jodi Ray, director of Florida Covering Kids & Families at the University of South Florida, said Floridians from all races and and backgrounds are signing up. About 1,000 people they've helped enroll have asked for assistance in a language other than English.

“They included individuals who not only spoke Spanish and Creole, but they included individuals who spoke Chinese and Arabic, it’s a big language and we’ve needed to make an effort to make sure we’ve got a lot of materials available in Arabic,” she said.

Since 2014, HealthCare.gov has been an option for people without access or who couldn't afford health insurance. Enrollment for 2015 plans ends Feb. 15.  

--Health News Florida Editor Mary Shedden is part of WUSF Public Media in Tampa. Contact her at (813) 974-8636, on Twitter @MaryShedden, or at shedden@wusf.org. Health News Florida receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.