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Compliance with SB 853 Language Assistance Policy
Jan 15, 2009
As of January 1, 2009, according to California State Senate Bill 853, it is a legal requirement that all California Health Plans must provide FREE language assistance to their enrollees. This regulation is applicable to all health plans: Medical, Dental, Life, EAP, etc. This requirement is applicable to Fully Insured business only, not ASO business.
Data to be collected at the subscriber level is:
- Written language preference
- Spoken language preference
Supported languages in addition to English:
IVR prompts will contain the six language choices as of January 1, 2009.
Some of the common written documents to be translated are:
- Applications - Note: all applications sent to members must include a regulatory notice
- Explanation of Benefits / Summary of Benefits
This is not an all inclusive list since there are numerous documents affected. Note: Anthem Blue Cross will not translate invoices; however, they are translating claim information.
A standalone mailing to inform existing members of this new program is scheduled for February, 2009. The welcome kit for new enrollees will include a notice about this program.
Subscribers will be directed to call the phone number on the back of their ID Cards to provide their data voluntarily. This information will not be used to determine eligibility.
- Large Group - Dynamic Kits will be available for Large Group Administrators
- Small Group – GAM Kits will be available for Small Group Administrators
Please note this regulation does not apply to Medi-Cal or Medicare enrollees.