Health Center to Guide Spanish-speakers Through Insurance Changes

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- A day before the new health insurance marketplaces open, offering affordable health insurance for millions, many Americans still don't understand it.

This, according to a new national poll by The Commonwealth Fund.

It found only one in three uninsured Americans know about these marketplaces, and less than half were aware that financial assistance will be available to help pay for health plans.

The Associated Press reported under the health care law, 10 million Latinos are eligible for coverage nationwide.

Four million of them speak Spanish primarily, but the Spanish version of the marketplace will not be ready by Tuesday.

The site may not be ready to take online enrollments for a few weeks, however; a Valley health care center is trying to make sure this doesn't deter neighbors who want to sign up.

The Harrisonburg Community Health Center said most of its patients are uninsured and some of them only speak Spanish.

That's why the bilingual staff at the center plans to help patients sign up even before the Spanish site is open for enrollments.

Jossimar Diaz-Castro, a member of the Hispanic community in Harrisonburg said the delay is not a big concern.

"As long as folks can get the services by the same time that people who are doing it in October. If they do it in November in Spanish instead of English. Then I think it's fine. If you have the services by January 1st. I think that is what is important," said Diaz-Castro.

The Harrisonburg Community Health Center said the second biggest population they serve speaks Spanish.

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