Access Health CT, the state’s new health insurance marketplace, is launching a Spanish-language “edutainment” television series intended to reach uninsured Latinos.

Latinos make up 14 percent of the state’s population, but a quarter of the people without health insurance in the state, making them a key target for those trying to enroll people in coverage as part of federal health reform.

Access Health was created as part of the federal health law to offer private health care coverage to people who buy insurance on their own and to small groups.

Its Spanish-language show, called Mercado de Salud (translated: health insurance market), will begin Saturday, Sept. 7, at 11 a.m. on Univision 18 Hartford, and is slated to air through March. Access Health CEO Kevin Counihan described it as “a culturally relevant TV series that informs the community about how to gain access to the coverage they need.”

Access Health’s other outreach efforts include handing out information on insurance at concerts and community festivals, as well as at beaches. Community organizations are also receiving funds and training to help people in their areas learn about their health insurance options and sign up for coverage.

Access Health, the state’s health insurance exchange, will begin accepting enrollment Oct. 1, for coverage that will take effect Jan. 1. It’s expected to enroll between 80,000 and 100,000 in the first year. 

More information about Mercado de Salud is available here.

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Arielle Levin Becker covered health care for The Connecticut Mirror. She previously worked for The Hartford Courant, most recently as its health reporter, and has also covered small towns, courts and education in Connecticut and New Jersey. She was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and the third-place winner in 2013 for an in-depth piece on caregivers from the National Association of Health Journalists. She is a 2004 graduate of Yale University.

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