Florida’s Latino Population and Universal Healthcare

24% of Florida’s population is Latino, meaning that any political move in Florida must have Latino support if it is to be a success.  Despite the fact that they make up a quarter of the population, they remain the most undeserved population by Florida health insurance providers.

There are some key areas that, if improved, may be able to produce Latino enrollment.

Though controversial, it might be wise to allow undocumented workers to apply for either federal or state plans.  Those opposed to this action may not realize that, if a person shows up at an emergency room regardless of that person’s citizenship, life-saving actions will be performed.  This ends up costing the taxpayer money, and raising medical costs for everyone involved.  If the undeserved undocumented workers had more coverage available, it is less likely that this cost would be passed on to US citizens.

Those who are living in areas where the Medicaid-expansion was accepted are covered.  However, when Florida lawmakers were offered additional money for Medicaid by the US federal government, they turned these funds down due to ideological differences rather than logical reasoning.  If the state government was to agree to accept these funds, Florida health insurance would become available to a wider range of people in all undeserved populations that are more likely to suffer from poverty.

Even if they do have health insurance coverage, those who are poorest in the state of Florida may have difficulty paying the out-of-pocket costs that are required, https://floridainsurancequotes.net/health-insurance-quote/ can help. This is because, even if one has very good health insurance that can pay for a large percentage of coverage, a $10,000 bill will still produce $2,000 of out-of-pocket costs.  Most middle-class families would wince at such a fee, much less those in the lowest income bracket in Florida.  A family that makes $32,000 a year would not be able to absorb this kind of cost without suffering deep cuts back in their purchases, and a family living below the poverty line could end up borrowing money or paying back a little at a time for years.

Low education can decrease people’s ability to communicate with healthcare providers, or understand the instructions of navigators in the process of obtaining Florida healthcare.  Language barriers can ensure that people for whom English is a second language suffer a great deal of misunderstanding regarding the process, and finding someone who can help them who also speaks Spanish can be challenging, especially in an environment where English is the primary language.  Some may deem it too challenging to obtain.

More than 2/5 of the Hispanic population in Florida are foreign-born, and may have cultural barriers to seeking healthcare in this manner.  Most foreign-born Latino immigrants speak Spanish as their first language, and only one quarter of them speak English ‘very well’ according to their own assessment.  Some newcomers are so isolated from their new society that they may not even be aware that national health care exists!

Many of those who do not speak excellent English will also have difficulty finding jobs that offer them health insurance, leaving them alone in the marketplace to attempt to determine – again, without those language skills necessary to do so – which plan is best for them.  This lack of employability also means that they will have limited funds with which to purchase a comprehensive plan, and may end up cutting corners.

Overall, the impact on Latino seekers of Florida health insurance, especially those for whom English is a second language, or for whom the United States is not their country of origin is profound.