Individual, Family, and Community Education ETDs

Publication Date



The primary purpose of this study is to explore factors and contexts that influenced and motivated individuals to enroll in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA, commonly called Obamacare, is also known as the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange (NMHIX). The study is specifically designed to examine the participants lived experiences and opinions regarding the acquisition, or opposition to health care insurance coverage. I have employed the hermeneutic phenomenological research methodology to conduct this study. Nine self-identified Hispanic residents of the San Miguel County (SMC) participated in semi-structured in-depth interviews. The research site for the current study was the SMC located in northern New Mexico (NM). The major findings in this study revealed the following response patterns: (a) participant's memory of having health care insurance while growing up was divided among those that had health care insurance and those who did not have health care insurance or those who had state supported health care insurance such as Medicaid; (b) Trusted sources such as family and friends are methods that were used to obtain and learn about the NMHIX; (c) Mandate and penalty assessments for not having the health care insurance coverage was the number one motivational factor to enrolling in the NMHIX; (d) Participants had more negative experiences than positive in the enrollment process; (e) Nearly 90% of the respondents felt they have benefited from having health care insurance coverage, and; (f) The findings revealed that if participants had the authority to change something with health care insurance coverage, participants would like co-payments and deductibles reduced or eliminated. The results of this research provide a venue to strengthen the implementation of the ACA. In addition, there may be the notion to rethink and systematize ideas that enable and support local communities to operate as health communication channels aiding citizens navigate the optimal use of health care insurance.'


healthcare, insurance, Hispanic, Latino, norteno

Document Type




Degree Name

Family Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Individual, Family, and Community Education

First Advisor

Hossain, Ziarat

First Committee Member (Chair)

Kelly, Ryan

Second Committee Member

Celedón-Pattichis, Sylvia

Third Committee Member

Liesveld, Judy