Health insurance gap for Asian Americans is latest target

This will be a week of action to try to encourage this community to purchase medical coverage.

There has been a notable health insurance gap in the enrollment of Asian Americans as well as those of Pacific Island descent, which has existed since open enrollment first began through the Affordable Care Act in 2013.

The White House is hoping to use this week to speak to this ethnic community and provide coverage education.

Since the beginning of the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period in 2013, the number of people across the country who are uninsured has dropped by almost 18 million. However, more than 200,000 Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent are still not covered by health insurance as required by the ACA’s individual mandate. This figure was released by the White House.

The deadline for purchasing coverage is January 31, which means the health insurance gap has little time to close.

asian american man health insurance gapThe federal government is hoping to reduce that insurance gap before the end of the month, when the latest open enrollment period comes to a close. Therefore, beginning tomorrow, January 19, the third annual AAPI Affordable Care Act Week of Action is being hosted by the White House. The purpose is to focus on and address the barriers to access that continue to exist in the Asian American community in terms of purchasing the required health insurance.

According to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) executive director, Dour Thor, “There are still many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the country who remain uninsured for various reasons — lack of language access, confusion over eligibility, and limited knowledge of health insurance.”

The hope is that this week will help to further close the health insurance gap through education, understanding and action. There isn’t much time left in the most recent enrollment period, as it closes on January 31 but there is still enough time for people to learn about the importance of the coverage, to enroll in an insurance exchange and to discover the policy that is right for covering themselves and their families.

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