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About Services for Non-English Speaking Members

 

What are Language Services?

Language services are services available from your HMO if you or a family member use American Sign Language (ASL) or do not speak English as a first language. These services, such as using an interpreter, may assist you with obtaining and making the most of the medical care and treatment you receive.

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How did we obtain this information?

The information found here was voluntarily self-reported by some California HMOs to the Office of the Patient Advocate (OPA) in Spring 2005. Participating HMOs responded to a survey developed by OPA with input from the OPA's Cultural and Linguistic Services Workgroup.

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Which HMOs do More?

The ratings show how HMOs compare to each other based on the language services the HMOs report. The chart is not intended to indicate the quality of the language services provided by the HMOs.

More

A rating of More means that the HMO reports that it offers a greater amount of language services than HMOs that rate Less.

Less

A rating of Less means that the HMO reports that it offers fewer language services than other HMOs.

The ratings are based on the HMOs' responses to a survey requesting information on how members:

  • communicate with their HMO and doctor,
  • access information in non-English languages, and
  • obtain information on services and cost.

The survey also asked if HMOs:

  • monitor language services offered, and
  • give priority to language services issues.

A separate score is given for each type of insurance coverage.

Please see the Information by Language section or contact your HMO for more information about the specific language services available to you.

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Information by Language

The check mark information available by clicking on a specific language tells you what language services are available for members who use ASL or who prefer to use a non-English language.

HMOs must provide interpreter services and some translated written materials to their members who do not speak or understand English well or who use ASL. Services may differ depending on whether you have Commercial coverage through your employer or have health coverage with Medi-Cal, Healthy Families or Medicare.

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Why is this information important?

Knowing about the services your HMO offers in non-English languages may assist you in communicating better with your doctor or HMO representative. Improved communication can result in getting the medical services you need to achieve better health.

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Where to obtain more information

The information presented here is not a complete description of language services available. Additionally, not all language services may be available at all times to all members. If you are interested in learning more about an HMO's interpreter or translation services, contact the HMO directly. You can find the telephone number and website address for each HMO on the Contact an HMO page or by clicking on HMO names wherever they appear.

If you would like more information about these data or if you have a problem seeking language assistance, please contact the Office of the Patient Advocate at 1-866-466-8900.

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