Counties Where ‘Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate’ Notices Will Be Required: The Public Health Services Act requires non-grandfathered group health plans and health insurance issuers offering non-grandfathered health insurance coverage to provide relevant notices (such as the plan’s internal claim review process) in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. Both grandfathered and non-grandfathered plans must provide the new Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) and Uniform Glossary in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.
In general, this means that for employees living in counties where at least ten percent of the population is literate only in the same non-English language, plans and issuers must provide oral language services (such as a telephone assistance hotline), and must provide written translations of the notice or SBC upon request in the appropriate non-English language. In addition, in such counties, English versions of the notice or SBC must contain a statement, written in the applicable non-English language, disclosing the availability of language assistance.
The Department of Health and Human Services released the list of counties that meet or exceed the 10 percent threshold for use in 2012. This list will be updated annually.