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Feds Say 80 Percent Of Latinos Qualify For ACA Tax Credit

A new analysis from U.S. Health and Human Services estimates that about eight out of ten Latinos across the nation qualify for tax credits to buy a health plan through the Affordable Care Act or for Medicaid.

That means 2.5 million eligible uninsured Latinos in Texas gained access to new options for health care with the ACA -- and an additional 2.8 million in California, 400,000 in Arizona and 180,000 in New Mexico.

Latinos are far more likely to be uninsured than the Anglo population. The report finds that about 16 percent of all U.S. citizens are uninsured -- among Latinos that number is 24 percent.

If all the states had expanded Medicaid under the ACA, 95 percent of uninsured Latinos would qualify for coverage.

U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-San Antonio, said there is a final nationwide push starting up to enroll Latinos before the deadline.

“This is a community that suffers from some very well known medical ailments like hypertension, obesity, diabetes, which can make medical care very expensive," Castro said. "The effect on the person when they don’t have that medical care is very grave.”

Mayra Alvarez, the associate director of the office of minority health at the HHS, said many Latinos don’t realize how affordable the ACA can be.

“A 27 year old, for example, with an income of $25,000 living in Miami, Fla., could pay as little as $87. A family of four with an income of $50,000 living in Phoenix, Arizona, could pay as little as $207," Alvarez said.

Enrollment in the ACA is open until March 31.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi