Latino Health Insurance Program (LHIP)

A Good Idea


In response to the high rate of uninsured among the Latino population of Massachusetts, the Latino Health Insurance Program was developed and implemented in the East Boston area, a region of high Latino population. Trusted local community leaders are enrolled as case managers and culturally specific methods of outreach and education are used. The program is based on other successful models, but is unique for its use of community health workers. Case managers conduct outreach to local Latino community members and enrolled participants attend educational sessions twice a month for five months at trusted community sites. The educational sessions provide information about Massachusetts' new health law and new health insurance plans offered by the state. Case managers conduct one-on-one visits with participants, when necessary, to assist in completing forms and obtaining documentation. The program established communication with the East Boston Community Health Center and the Boston Public Health Commission for referrals and primary care provision for new participants. The program continues to serve the Boston Latino community and was expanded in 2008.

Goal / Mission

To create a health insurance access program that reduces barriers to obtaining insurance to care for Latinos in Boston.

Results / Accomplishments

Case managers were recruited using signs in public housing developments and also through referrals from community agencies. Six case managers were recruited in the year-one pilot phase of the program. Case managers conducted face-to-face outreach through door-to-door canvassing and at community sites such as salons, laudromats and restaurants. All oral and written communication was available in Spanish and English. During the one-year pilot, 104 out of 130 adults and all 100 children were enrolled in state health insurance programs. Retention was near 100% after a year. The groups with highest participation were Dominican and Salvadoran. Case managers also assisted participants in enrolling in food stamps programs, applying for Social Security benefits for disabled children and enrolling in citizenship classes. They also referred them to local agencies providing assistance with home heating. For medical legal issues, participants were referred to Health Law Advocates, pro bono attorneys.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Milagros Abreu, MD, MPH
12 Irving Street, 2nd Floor
Framingham, MA 01702
Health / Access to Health Services
Health / Children's Health
Iglesia Cristiana Nueva Vida
Preventing Chronic Disease
Date of publication
Oct 2009
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
Boston, MA
For more details
Target Audience
Families, Racial/Ethnic Minorities