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White House Encouraging Families Of Mixed Citizenship Status To Apply For ACA Coverage

U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

As health insurance plan enrollment passes six million, the White House is paying special attention to uninsured Latino citizens to help them find coverage. The administration is also encouraging families who are of mixed citizenship status to apply despite any fears.

Currently, the Department of Health and Human Services does not have specific information on the breakdown of enrollment numbers by race -- the data are still being compiled.

Under a campaign to get more Latinos enrolled, 344,000 calls were made in Spanish nationwide; that’s about 4 percent of call volume.

Enrollment is strictly for U.S. citizens and legal immigrants, leaving out those who do qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Mayra Alvarez, associate director of minority health at HHS, said families of mixed citizenship status should not be afraid to apply.

"It’s an important opportunity to engage with mix-status families and ensure it’s safe to come forward, it’s safe to apply, and that the information they use when they apply for health insurance coverage will in no way be used for immigration enforcement," Alvarez said.

Although those under DACA cannot apply, Alvarez said under the ACA and other pre-existing programs, HHS is supporting health centers that offer care to anyone regardless of ability to pay.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules