During the first Open Enrollment Period, Action for Health Justice (AHJ) partners reached out to, educated and assisted with enrollment for over 540,000 Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AA and NHPI) under the new, affordable health insurance plans and Medicaid. While the promise of coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became a reality for many, it is still a dream for many more. AA and NHPI consumers faced an array of challenges to enrolling in health care – enough to keep many from signing up at all.

Today, Action for Health Justice released a new report entitled Improving the Road to Coverage: Policy Recommendations for Enrollment Success. The report outlines some of the barriers to access and provides recommendations to build and improve outreach, education, and enrollment efforts for the future under the ACA. Click here to read the full report.

Action for Health Justice ACA Map

AHJ partners worked in 22 states to provide outreach, education, and enrollment assistance to AA and NHPI communities. Sixty percent of Asian Americans and 14 percent of Pacific Islanders are foreign-born and cover the range of immigration statuses, and 32 percent have a limited ability to read, write, speak or understand English. As a result, these communities would have struggled to sign up for coverage without dedicated efforts from AHJ.

The recommendations included in the report incorporate these challenges, along with low health literacy and fears of adverse immigration consequences for seeking health coverage. Full implementation of these recommendations will ensure many more AAs and NHPIs will be able to enroll in coverage, get the care they need and make health care reform a reality for all communities.

Action for Health Justice (AHJ) consists of four national organizations (Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles), and more than 70 Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander national and local community-based organizations and Federally Qualified Health Centers dedicated to educating, empowering and enrolling AAs and NHPIs in health coverage. ZeroDivide serves as the initiative’s technology counsel. AHJ’s partner organizations are active in the following 22 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah and Washington. For more information and health reform resources in English, Asian and Pacific Islander languages, visit www.apiahf.org. Visit www.healthcare.gov for more information about the Marketplace and how to enroll.