“Our enrollment became more diverse in this last month, particularly among California’s Latino population; our enrollment became younger,” Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said during a conference call with reporters Thursday after testifying with the heads of other state exchanges on Capitol Hill.
With 1.2 million signed up for private plans, Lee said, “We’re proud of that accomplishment. We think it’s something that is giving peace of mind to many Californians. But we’re not done.”
Lee attributed the increased interest among Latinos to the fact that Covered California escalated its outreach in seven communities within the state that had low enrollment among Latino Californians: “I’m happy to note that hard work appeared to have paid off…. Our focus both by region, and on in-person and in-language support, is now making a difference.”
Latino enrollment had been a weak spot for the otherwise high-performing California exchange.
But Latino sign-ups made up about 36% of the March enrollments — compared with around 18% of those in October, November and December. Overall, about 252,000 Latinos had signed up through Covered California — making up more than a quarter of the total and closing in on the target of 265,000, Lee said.
The state exchange will look for ways to boost its appeal to that population, Lee said, which represents about 60% of the state’s uninsured.