November 22, 2013

WASHINGTON—Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) policy director Priscilla Huang joined the Georgetown University Center for Children & Families (CCF) panel today with New American Media, discussing encouraging findings in CCF’s latest report on the status of children’s health insurance.

The report puts children’s health insurance coverage in perspective as the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) coverage expansion takes effect January 2014. CCF analyzed data from the American Community Survey and found that as a result of years of targeted efforts, children’s health insurance rates have improved considerably, with a historic high of 92 percent of children insured in 2012.

“We have learned that targeted and persistent efforts at expanding and promoting eligibility and enrollment in federal and state programs like CHIP and Medicaid work,” said Priscilla Huang. “And they work across the board for working families and communities like Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AAs and NHPIs). Closing the coverage gap is possible and underscores why the ACA and complete Medicaid expansion across all 50 states is needed to ensure all children and their parents have the opportunity to grow up healthy.”

AAs and NHPIs face serious challenges affording health insurance and accessing culturally and linguistically competent care. According to the report, 7.4 percent of AA and NHPI children were uninsured in 2012, demonstrating that continued outreach is still needed. Previous analysis has shown that Asian American children are the most likely to be underinsured, increasing the likelihood of delayed care. The ACA tackles these disparities by expanding access to affordable, quality coverage for children and adults.

“Investing in children is an investment in our future,” said Huang. “And promoting enrollment for eligible adults through health reform is the best way we can promote robust enrollment for all children. Now couldn’t be a better time to build on years of successful outreach and expand coverage for all.”

To ensure that AAs and NHPIs fully understand their health insurance options, APIAHF, the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC launched a national education and outreach plan in 16 states, designed to maximize enrollment for the nation’s fastest growing groups.

Visit APIAHF’s Health Care for Me site to learn more about the national campaign, coverage options and what the ACA means for AA and NHPI communities.