The Race is on to Reach Illinois’ 1 Million+ Uninsured Ethnic Population

May 28, 13 The Race is on to Reach Illinois’ 1 Million+ Uninsured Ethnic Population

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By: Cassandra Bremer, Content Manager and Developer In a few short months, the preliminary stages of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation will begin, forcing the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) and other healthcare providers to move quickly and provide coverage solutions for the state’s one million plus uninsured residents. As of April 30, the state received 165 health insurance plans to review for inclusion in the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace, the online exchange where individuals and small businesses can buy coverage. Once the review is complete, the DOI will recommend whether or not the plan should be certified as a Qualified Health Plan to federal Health and Human Services who will make the final determination by August 31. Open Enrollment for both state and federal exchanges will begin on October 1 to meet the January 1, 2014 deadline for mandatory health insurance coverage as specified under the ACA (aka ObamaCare).  In order to meet this aggressive timeframe, the state and health insurance companies must address various, unique cultural and linguistic needs to reduce barriers in reaching more than half of the state’s uninsured population. Currently, over 13% (1,647,527) of Illinois residents are uninsured with more than half residing in Cook County, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts. Minorities are more likely to be uninsured (29% of Hispanics, 20% of African Americans) when compared to Non-Hispanic Whites (15%), with Latinos having the highest uninsured rate among all racial/ethnic groups in the country. To add, Hispanics under age 26 make up 47% of the national population making this niche consumer group an attractive target for health insurance providers. According to the Illinois Health Matters report, barriers in reaching the total uninsured population include limited English proficiencies, low literacy levels as well as cultural beliefs and practices that inhibit or cause discomfort in navigating Western medical systems and bureaucracies. Partnerships with trusted community programs, multicultural communication agencies and non-profit organizations such as the Immigrant Family Resource Program will be key in achieving a...

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Five Tips for Communicating Effectively with Diverse Audiences

By Ebonne Just, Account Supervisor- Public Relations It’s no secret. The United States is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse reflecting the major influence immigration has had on both the size and age structure of the U.S. population. The Huffington Post recently reported that by 2043, there will no longer be a racial majority in the U.S.  Meaning, no single racial group will dominate the population. As professional communicators, it is important the industry recognizes this shifting demographic to ensure a brand/client’s message remains compelling and influential in today’s complex market. Here are five tips for communicating effectively with diverse audiences: Know your target audience As with any marketing assignment, the first step is to clearly identify the audience your brand is trying to engage. In multicultural communications this step is crucial. Beyond knowing the typical characteristics of your target (race, gender, age, income), it is important to understand this consumer on a deeper level. What drives them to achieve their quantitative and qualitative personal goals (family, wealth, religion/faith)? How do they view themselves as part of the total market (blue-collar, entrepreneur, spiritual leader, social advocate)?  How has race or ethnicity influenced their experience living in the U.S.? Understanding these cultural nuances- the characteristics that exist beyond general appearances which distinguish ethnic and racial groups from the traditional American ideal- builds a platform from which a communicator can deliver a credible message. Assess your knowledge/understanding of your audience Embrace the famous opening words of MTV’s celebrity biopic, “Diary”: You think you know, but you have no idea. While many of us may believe we understand complex cultures outside of our own, truth of the matter is, we probably know less than we think. Before setting out to influence or represent an ethnic audience, assess how much of your understanding is fact versus assumption. A misguided perception of any group can lead to offensive marketing/advertising such as in the case of Tecate’s ill-fated “Finally a Cold Latina” outdoor ad campaign whose critics felt “the ad...

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Affordable Care Act (Healthcare Reform) and Multicultural Populations cont.

May 07, 13 Affordable Care Act (Healthcare Reform) and Multicultural Populations cont.

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We conclude our 12 part blog series on the Affordable Care Act and Multicultural Populations.   Medicaid & Obama Care – Part 12 By Martha C. Rivera, Director, Strategy and Insights, and Stephanie Puga, Junior Executive On March 23, 2010 Barack Obama signed the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA), or as many know it as Obama Care. How does it impact Medicaid? The main changes in Medicaid under Obama Care are: a.) Medicaid enrollees will be provided with expanded coverage b.) Each state will be required to streamline and simplify the enrollment process c.) Eligibility criteria have changed to individuals who fall under the 133% FPL and are under age 65. Poverty level alone does not qualify someone for Medicaid; however it is one of the most important determining factors. When reviewing the Affordable Health Care Act in full and observing that the qualifications to  purchase insurance through an exchange begins at 139% FPL, one might ask, what happens to those who fall between the 133% and 138% FPL range? These individuals are granted a 5% disregard in order to qualify for Medicaid. This ultimately means the FPL limit is raised to 138%. With these changes approximately 9.2 million uninsured individuals of multicultural origin are predicted to now be covered under U.S. Medicaid by 2016 under the Affordable Health Care Act. This law will be fully implemented January 1, 2014. Source:...

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