Close to One Million New LEP Healthcare Clients


California’s new Health Exchange, Covered California, rolled out on October 1, in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. Covered California is now offering a six-month open enrollment period. Tens of thousands of Californians logged on to access the exchange’s website and learn about the available health insurance options. Covered California is implementing statewide efforts to contact and educate uninsured consumers and encourage them to enroll.


Delivering this information to a diverse group of potential health care consumers is difficult for many reasons. Chief among the reasons is the fact that a large number are considered Limited English Proficient (LEP).


According to a joint study by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the University of California, Berkeley Labor Center, approximately one million people who are eligible for federal subsidies within the new health care program are LEP. California has the largest minority population of any state, with about 22.3 million people classified as minorities. They make up multiple ethnic populations within California. So reaching out to eligible healthcare consumers must be accomplished through the use of multiple languages.


Accurate, high-quality translation of websites, documentation, outreach materials and health plan information is vital to the success of Covered California. Translation companies like Avantpage are poised to play a key role in the process. In California, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Armenian, Farsi (Persian), Hmong, Khmer (Cambodian), Korean, Russian, Tagalog and Vietnamese are just some of the languages spoken by the state’s minority population. Many of these people are not comfortable communicating in English.


As Covered California continues to reach out to LEP populations and enroll new consumers in its healthcare program, translation takes on a critical role in catering to the health needs of California’s minority population.