Hispanic Heritage and Our Health


Blue Carreker, Vice President for Public Affairs and Media Relations
518.512.9038 or 518.256.0015

Published: 09.30.13| Updated: 09.30.13

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we acknowledge that Latinos face greater obstacles in obtaining, and benefiting from, sexual and reproductive health services than non-Latino white Americans. There are approximately 52 million Latinos in the United States representing the fastest growing group in the country, but also the most in need of health care.

The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) has already brought improved access to affordable health care to many young Latinos. Already 6.1 million Latinos have gained coverage to the preventive services benefit, which requires insurance companies to cover things like birth control, cancer screenings, and testing for sexually transmitted infections without a co-pay. Additionally, 736,000 otherwise uninsured young Latino adults aged 19 to 25 now have coverage under their parents' health plan.

However, overall, Latinos are the least likely of all ethnic groups in the United States to be insured, and more than a quarter of Latinas live in poverty, creating a major barrier for those who could benefit from preventive health services including reproductive health like birth control, cancer screenings ,GYN exams and STD testing.
Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood (UHPP) knows firsthand why it's so critical for women and men in the Latino community to have access to a comprehensive range of preventive health care services. It's more important than ever this year, as the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, goes into full effect. This law is a landmark achievement in expanding access to affordable health care for all Americans, but it is especially important for Latinos, who have the highest rate of uninsured in the nation.

As of October 1, approximately nine million Latinos are newly eligible to enroll in either expanded Medicaid or more affordable health insurance plans through the health insurance marketplace. These plans cover things that are of particular important to women, including birth control and well-woman visits at no cost, as well as doctor visits, hospitalizations, maternity care, ER care, and other prescriptions. And better access to care means better health.

So what do you do if you, or someone you know, does not have health insurance? As easy step is to go, a new web site that provides simple, easy answers to questions about the new law, as well as key information about what you should look for in a plan, how to know what financial help you're eligible for, and where and when to enroll. You can find information in Spanish at

If you live in the Capital Region, UHPP health centers will have certified enrollers on site at all of our health centers to answer questions and help you navigate the state Marketplace web site. You can go to and find specific information about when certified enrollers will be at local Planned Parenthood health centers, and how to call and make an appointment for enrollment assistance.

As always, UHPP is here to help make sure you and those you care about get the health care services and information they need. Planned Parenthood launched a public awareness campaign to help people understand the benefits of Obamacare and how to enroll. We're connecting with women through every Planned Parenthood channel—in English and Spanish—at our health centers, and through education and outreach programs that reach people at home, in schools, and online.
Expanded, affordable access to care under the new health care law will help better address the health care needs of Latinas, and that's definitely worth celebrating.


Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood is a non-profit organization serving Albany, Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer counties. Each year, more than 13,000 patients make over 20,000 visits to UHPP health centers in Albany, Hudson and Troy. UHPP provides a wide range of reproductive health services including annual GYN exams including PAP tests, breast exams and self exam instruction, colposcopy, cryosurgery and LEEP, birth control information and supplies, Emergency Contraception, pregnancy testing and options counseling, first trimester abortion (medication and surgical), adoption and prenatal referrals, and more. UHPP provides educational programs to more than 5,000 participants at more than 500 programs each year and advocates for women's health.

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