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National Journal: Affordable Care Act Hampered by Lack of Bilingual Materials

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DoctorsThe National Journal reports that information on subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act  is only available in English and Spanish , and that literature in any Asian languages is unavailable in most states.

“There is not enough money to translate the health-exchange application into the minimum 15 languages needed,” said Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. “The Health and Human Services Department has set up an in-language hotline that is supposed to offer assistance in 150 languages. However, testing on the ground has revealed some problems with the hotline, with wait times of up to eight minutes for languages other than Spanish and particularly for Asian and Pacific Islander languages. This will be a major problem as open enrollment moves forward.”

Thirty six states have their health insurance programs run by the federal government. But the others including California run their own programs and some of those states have provided bilingual materials in multiple languages including Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Korean, Hmong and Lao.

California is also running advertisement in five different Asian languages to reach out to the Asian community. according to the SF Examiner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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