Update on Non-English Notices for Health Plans

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health plans are required to provide certain notices to participants in culturally and linguistically appropriate formats.  In any county where more than 10% of the population primarily speaks a particular non-English language, the relevant notices must include a prominent instruction in that language informing participants about how to get help understanding the notice.  Plans must also provide the notices in that language, if requested.  This requirement applies to notices about internal and external appeal rights, and the plan’s Summary of Benefits Coverage (SBC).  Plans may include non-English notices even where not required by this regulation. 

On July 24, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services published an updated list of covered counties, and issued technical guidance explaining how they created that list.  The updated list of covered counties is available at: http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/Downloads/2013-clas-data.pdf, and the technical guidance is available at: http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Regulations-and-Guidance/Downloads/updated-clas-bulletin-07-24-2013.pdf.  The county list is updated annually.

For more information on the ACA and SBCs, please contact your Trust Fund counsel.

By Daniel Brome | August 13, 2013

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