TV-6 Investigates: Health Care Reform; Hispanic Outreach - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

TV-6 Investigates: Health Care Reform; Hispanic Outreach


The healthcare exchanges have gotten off to a rough start this week.

Too much traffic and technical glitches have prevented some people from enrolling for insurance.

There are also parts that don't work at all yet.

One version of the web site has been delayed.

When Americans began signing up for insurance on Tuesday, those wanting to complete the forms in Spanish, couldn't.

The Spanish language version of the exchange won't be accepting clients until November.

It's not ready to go.

Quad City Latinos say without that language bridge, they face a big barrier to signing up for insurance.

Buying food for her six children is no problem for Delmis Carranza. Buying health insurance for herself is one.

"Because I'm Spanish I don't speak too much English," says Carranza, who is uninsured.

She's been learning English over the last ten years by interacting with people in public. She has command of the basics, but she's not comfortable with English when it comes to purchasing health insurance.

"Because I don't understand, and I want to understand everything, what's in the plan," says Carranza.

Latino Policy Forum Director Sylvia Puente says, "Understanding our doctor sometimes is complicated even when we're well educated in English, so it gets even more complicated when your first language is not English."

Puente says health insurance reform presents a challenge for many Latinos. One third of whom in Illinois need insurance.

"Word of the mouth is the key resource of outreach in the Latino community," says Puente.

It's word of mouth that often ends up in another Quad City grocery store.

"Even here for anything else people who need help with health insurance or anything, they come and ask can you help us with this," says Daniella Martinez, working at La Primavera Grocery Store.

She estimates about 80 percent of the customers coming into the store speak mostly Spanish. She doesn't understand why the government didn't have its Spanish version web site ready to go.

"Nowadays there's a lot of Hispanics in this country, whatever percentage it is, we're part of the country, we just need to have that available," says Martinez.

As the march toward the first coverage deadline approaches on November 15.

Two Quad City groups offer bilingual in person assistance.

Casa Guanajuato and Community Health Care.

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