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Correcting Three Misconceptions About The 2019 CMS Call Center Monitoring Study

Posted by Mike McMahon on January 23, 2019

Each year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conduct a Call Center Monitoring Study.

CMS performs the study between February and June by placing calls to Medicare Part C and D call centers to - among other thing - evaluate performance in assisting Limited English Proficient (LEP) and Deaf and Hard of Hearing callers.

A portion of the study measures the availability of an interpreter, as well as the accuracy of information provided by the customer-service agent. This portion is called the Accuracy and Accessibility Study.

There are massive financial and marketing implications to the CMS study, as plans earning four and five stars stand to net additional dollars in Quality Bonus Payments, as well as valuable opportunities to shop their plans. (Five-star plans are afforded the opportunity to enroll members throughout the year.)

Given these high stakes, it’s only natural that misconceptions would emerge as plans aim for the highest score possible.

Below are three misconceptions that we hear most often. We’ve researched each of these suppositions and are glad to explain the reality behind each of them.

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Eight Steps Medicare Plans Can Take to Enroll More Limited-English Speakers

Posted by Mike McMahon on October 1, 2018

This year’s open-enrollment period for Medicare will run from October 15 through December 7. Studies show that a large number of Medicare enrollees are considered limited English proficient (LEP), meaning they speak English “less than very well” and are entitled to assistance.

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Open Enrollment is Coming. Here Are Six Things Insurers Can Do to Improve Communication with Non-English Speakers

Posted by Cory Markert on September 19, 2018

Healthcare Open Enrollment Period is coming soon. Starting Nov. 1, plans participating in the Health Insurance Marketplace will be flooded with inquiries. Agents are no doubt readying themselves for questions in every shape and form. 

But are they prepared to field these same questions in a variety of languages?

This is an altogether different matter – one that has a great deal to do with providing an ideal customer experience and reaching a previously underserved market.

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What 2017 Taught Insurance Companies About the Need for Language Services

Posted by Greg Marshall on December 13, 2017

 

 

For tens of thousands of people, 2017 was a year of devastation.

First it was floods: residents in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and other southern states faced catastrophic damage. Hurricane Harvey alone claimed at least 48 lives and caused an estimated $190 billion in damage. Then it was fire. Wildfires in Northern and Southern California forced thousands of residents to evacuate their homes as the governor twice declared a state of emergency.

When you factor in severe storms, cyclones, and other weather-related events, there were 15 that claimed more than 320 lives as of October. Each disaster cost $1 billion or more. Many of those affected were limited English proficient, deaf, or hard-of-hearing and required language services.Insurance companies know disaster is inevitable.

Having a language service provider on hand is a simple step they can take to ensure they are prepared to assist their policyholders and provide a great customer experience, regardless of language need.

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ACA Open Enrollment Starts Nov. 1, But Has the Nation’s Multicultural Population Heard the News?

Posted by Suzy duMont-Perez on October 30, 2017

Affordable Care Act open enrollment for 2018 starts Wednesday, Nov. 1, and runs through Friday, Dec. 15 — about six weeks shorter than the previous three-month window.

Many people who could enroll for insurance through the ACA (also known as Obamacare) don’t know this. With the current administration still pushing for repeal, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cut funding for advertising that would promote the enrollment period by 90 percent.

The lack of information is apparently working, as 30 percent of uninsured people are unaware the ACA exists, and 60 percent of those already enrolled don’t know when the open enrollment period is, according to a recent Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that 4 million fewer people will sign up for private insurance through the ACA than previously forecast.

If this confusion exists for the general population, just imagine how acute the issue must be for those who are limited English proficient (LEP)?

Every challenge presents an opportunity. In this case, insurance companies and state health marketplaces have the chance to add new enrollees by getting the word out to LEPs.

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Report Shows Diverse Language Preferences Among Insurance Consumers

Posted by The LanguageLine Solutions Team on September 18, 2017

If your insurance plan is preparing for open enrollment, you could be missing opportunities to reach new customers from diverse populations if you aren’t speaking their language.

Recent data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reveal telling insights on the language preferences of consumers who enrolled in HealthCare.gov. These statistics are based on self-reported data from last year’s enrollment period for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Here are some key things providers should know about language preferences among insurance consumers.

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