Last updated on November 22nd, 2017 at 04:13 pm
Back in August, we wrote a post about Legal and Medical interpretation. Regarding medical interpretation, we presented an article about a program at the University of Rochester Medical Center were interpreters are hired to help lower admissions and readmission rates due to language barriers non-native English speakers may have. This practice was a success, but what happens if those non-native English speakers don’t have the language resources to access medical care in the first place?
Non-native English Speakers Left Out
This is the problem the health insurance industry is facing now. As if choosing a health insurance plan wasn’t difficult enough, for individuals whose native language is not English or Spanish, this process becomes exponentially more complicated. Starting October 1, the Affordable Care Act will come into effect allowing people to compare multiple health care plans in one place. Until now, the applications have been traditionally translated into Spanish, due to the ever-increasing amount of Spanish speakers in the United States, but it completely leaves out the 4 million Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the U.S. who speak languages other than English.
The Solution: Multilingual Translation
The solution? Translating the application forms into the main foreign languages spoken in the United States, including Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese, French, Russian, Korean, and Farsi. Translation is the only way in which people who speak different languages can accurately communicate and get the right message across. We all know how important health care is, so the translation of these forms is not something insurance companies can “think about” or “do later on”, it is a vital necessity that should be addressed and solved immediately for the benefit of their potential insured people.
A Call for Action
Let’s work together so everyone can have access to the same information, and therefore, access to the same benefits. We must push for better legislation and more comprehensive and affordable health care options that are accessible for everyone alike. Health care should not be an option, a luxury only those who can pay for it have, it is a right and we need to do whatever it is in our hands to make sure everyone enjoys it.