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Language Access Checklist for Marketplace Implementation

By Elaine Saly,


One in four American consumers who will apply for coverage through the new health insurance marketplaces will speak a language other than English at home. This brief explains why states must provide language services in their marketplaces for people with limited English proficiency.

The Affordable Care Act requires marketplaces to offer language services for consumers who need it. It’s critical that marketplaces develop comprehensive standards that ensure these language services allow consumers to easily enroll in, use, and retain coverage, no matter what language they speak. Buying coverage in the marketplace can be an exciting process with a lot of options—states can make it easier on residents who don’t speak English by explaining these options in multiple languages.

Advocates can use this checklist of recommendations to encourage their state to implement effective language services that meet the needs of consumers with limited English proficiency.