By Matt Rivers
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An indefinite delay of the Spanish language version of the Affordable Care Act website threatens the viability of the program as a whole, according to area experts.
CuidadoSalud.gov was supposed to roll out this month, but although the website exists, the option to enroll electronically doesn’t.
That option does exist on Healthcare.gov, although the system has been plagues with problems.
“My job only is part time so I can’t afford health insurance,” said Carmen Rosa.
Rosa, who can only speak Spanish, said she would have applied online if she could, but said she was frustrated that option doesn’t exist yet.
Congreso, a Latino health advocacy group in Philadelphia, organized an enrollment fair Friday to try and sign people up. They’ve been using paper applications and phone conversations to do so.
“But sometimes people want to read things for themselves in their own language to feel more comfortable,” said Elizabeth Rosario, a certified application counselor who said the lack of a Spanish language website is undoubtedly hurting Latino enrollment.
Rosario translates necessary information for her clients, but says sometimes things get lost in translation.
“When you have hundreds of Spanish speaking clients coming in, this is really becoming a problem,” said Rosario.
Experts said the outreach program amongst the Latino community has always relied heavily on in-person assistance, but the website was designed to alleviate some of that burden.