Many Latinos Shun Obamacare for Fear of Getting Relatives Deported


Lilian, 23, left, and her sister Norma, 21, fix dinner at their family’s Covina home. They are hesitant to sign up for Obamacare because their parents are immigrants who are not citizens. (Credit: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

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Lilian Saldana turned down Obamacare coverage once, and she might do it again.

With sign-ups set to resume Saturday, the 23-year-old Covina resident and her younger sister are hesitant to enroll because their parents are immigrants who are not citizens and therefore ineligible for benefits under the Affordable Care Act.

Saldana, an after-school tutor, admits she could put the insurance to good use for a checkup, but she worries about putting her parents at risk or creating a rift at home.

“We’ve always done things together as a family,” she said.

The Saldana sisters are among roughly 600,000 Latinos in California who remain uninsured — despite qualifying for subsidized coverage under the federal health law. Latinos outnumber whites and Asians among the 1.3 million Californians who are eligible for federal aid and lack private health coverage.

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