Bar Raised for Insurers’ Language Assistance Services
New rules took effect last week requiring HMOs to provide interpreters for members who do not speak English, the Sacramento Bee reports. The rules implement SB 853.
Under the new regulations, managed care plans must translate written materials and ensure that interpreters are available on demand.
Consumer groups, who sponsored the legislation, last month criticized the regulations for not including a provision to require that companies must operate 24-hour hot lines that consumers can call for interpretation services.
HMOs have one year to comply with the new regulations. The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network and Health Access plan to monitor compliance (Benson, Sacramento Bee, 3/2).