Fall is here and open enrollment season has started! During the period between October 15 and December 7, members can join, switch, or drop a plan and their coverage will begin on January 1, 2023. When you’re thinking about new and current members, how can you best serve them during this open enrollment period?
When you need to exchange vital information, financial details, and other insurance-related information, it’s important that your members and prospective members are able to understand the information and communicate with you in their language. That’s why providing language support during open enrollment season should be at the top of your list.
Below, we highlight a few of the reasons why language support is necessary for attracting new members and retaining existing members during health insurance open enrollment.
You Are Advocates for Your Members’ Wellness
Language support ensures non-English speaking members have the same great healthcare experience, receive a personalized experience, and can access and know how to access resources that will support them in making healthy choices. Giving equal access to wellness resources is key to supporting your entire member population.
Ensure Your Members Have Language Support Throughout Every Encounter
Every touchpoint matters when communicating with your members. Some of the primary encounters you’ll want to ensure you provide language support for include:
- Digital Front Door (your company website, patient portal, other digital experiences)
- Member Apps
- Provider Books
- Member Benefits
- Provider Appointments
- Satisfaction Surveys
- Call Center
- Community Outreach and Health Screenings
Increase Participation and Engagement for Your Diverse Membership
With language support, you can personalize each member’s experience and empower them to actively participate in managing their own health. If a member receives but isn’t able to read your membership materials, then they won’t take the action you would like them to take in managing their own health – it’ll be as if they never received the materials in the first place. When you make it easier for your members to communicate with you in their native language, you show that you support every member in managing their own health, regardless of the primary language they speak or read.
Grow Market Share
If you want to attract more diverse members, it’s vital to provide language support when you share information with these new groups of people. With language support, you can expand into new markets with populations with limited English proficiency (LEP) – language no longer needs to be a barrier to entry. You can prepare your call centers and field teams to support language needs by providing remote interpreting to answer questions and help enrollees.
Meet Federal Requirements
HHS is taking steps to improve meaningful communication with LEP individuals by relaunching its Language Access Steering Committee (Steering Committee) to support HHS’s implementation of language access obligations under President Joe Biden’s recent Executive Orders (EOs). The federal government is currently updating their language access plans to ensure that LEP persons have meaningful access to HHS-administered health and human services programs and activities. Recipients of federal financial assistance must take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to people whose primary language is not English. Recipients of federal financial assistance must also take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to health programs and activities to persons with LEP.
“Ensuring appropriate communication with patients who have limited English proficiency is critical to providing high-quality care. Reliance on unqualified individuals to interpret medical information can lead to misunderstandings, devastating outcomes, or even death,” said HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Director, Melanie Fontes Rainer 
You can provide language support for the following in order to meet the Federal requirements:
- Enrollment and renewal
- Premium payments
- Deductibles and co-pays
- Claims processing
- Appeals and grievances
- Policy documents and summary plan descriptions
- Explanations of benefits
- Provider locators and directories
- Preventive care – provide preventive health ideas for different cultures
- Prescription management
Propio’s Suite of Language Solutions
Document Translation and Localization Services
Propio provides HIPAA compliant, high-quality, specialized document translation and localization services in more than 125 languages. We give you the ability to have documents translated in advance to be sure you can accommodate all of your new and current members. Propio can help you with 508 compliance of on-line documents for your visually impaired readers. Closed captioning (English and Multilingual) can also be added for video training or messaging. You can manage translation requests within your CMS by using Propio’s content management integrations, to help meet your required turnaround times.
How Propio’s document translation service works:
- Propio matches your project with a translator who is an expert in the subject matter and a native speaker of the target language.
- A second certified translator proofreads the translation to eliminate typos, grammatical mistakes, and any other issues.
- Propio sends you the completed translation with formatting and desktop publishing included, so your materials are ready to use right away— with many documents ready 24-48 hours from quote approval.
Get started utilizing Propio’s document translation and localization services today.
Remote Interpreting Services
Propio can provide you with call center support, over-the-phone interpreting, and custom workflows to ensure fast connect times. Propio ONE is an on-demand audio and video app for field representatives, telehealth visits and community events, allowing for personal communication. Language direct-dial numbers are available for larger language populations, giving your member the ability to have their call answered by someone speaking their language. 350+ languages are available 24/7/365 to interpret via phone or video at the touch of a button.
Remote interpreting use cases:
1) If you’re already on a call with your member, just conference in Propio with your dedicated Propio direct dial in phone number and an interpreter will join in seconds. Connect directly with an interpreter without having to enter a pin.
2) Take down your client’s name and number and invite them via call, text, or email invitation to join the call with Propio ONE.
3) An interpreter can join on your platform – Zoom, Teams, etc.