The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided updated technical guidance to health insurance marketplaces, qualified health plans, and online health insurance brokers for ensuring meaningful access to their products and services by individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP) under various federal laws, including the Affordable Care Act. The technical guidance includes an updated list of the top 15 languages other than English spoken in each state and translations of standardized “taglines” in 63 languages. The translated taglines explain that information is available in those languages (either through written translations or through oral interpretation of English language written materials).
For the 2017 open enrollment period, health insurance marketplaces, qualified health plans, and online brokers must use translated taglines on their websites and written enrollment materials for the top 15 languages spoken in each state.
Moreover, health insurance marketplaces, qualified health plans, and online brokers are required to provide full translation of their websites if 10 percent or more of the population residing in that state that speaks a language other than English. This requirement applies to California and Texas, requiring translation into Spanish.
Finally, qualified health plans must provide the translated taglines in summaries of benefits and coverage, and in member claims and appeals documents, in each county served by that health plan where the 10 percent or more of the population speaks a language other than English. This requirement applies to qualified health plans in specified counties in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Puerto Rico and requires the translated taglines in Spanish, Navaho (in one county in Arizona), Chinese (in San Francisco), and Tagalog (in two counties in Alaska).