Becker’s Hospital Review
by Ayla Ellison

A recent study from the Greenlining Institute has found 90 percent of Covered California enrollees speak English as their primary language, despite over half of all Californians and 40 percent of those eligible for Covered California having limited English proficiency.

For the study, researchers examined Covered California data, performed interviews with enrollment counselors in Los Angeles and Fresno counties and performed interviews with groups that received outreach and education grants from the exchange.

The study found online information on Covered California was only available in Enlglish and Spanish, while materials in other languages were only available in print form. In addition, some of the enrollment counselors interviewed reported running out of the printed materials. The enrollment counselors also said the Spanish materials were poorly translated and difficult to understand.

To address the language barrier issues, the study made the following recommendations:

  • Expanding social media outreach
  • Hiring a director of diversity and cultural competency
  • Collecting demographic data earlier in the enrollment process
  • Ensuring outreach and enrollment activities are better coordinated and funded
  • Offering online information in the 13 most commonly spoken languages in California