As Maryland makes progress in the implementation of the state-based healthcare exchange, lawmakers have begun discussions on how to help insurance consumers who do not speak English, according to The Associated Press.
Danielle Davis, a spokesperson for the Maryland Health Exchange told the news service the agency will create a call center with translators and six branches throughout the state with employees who are familiar with the respective areas and can help local residents. The benefits marketplace administrator will also implement outreach initiatives through faith-based groups and radio, television and social media advertising.
In addition, the agency will provide information in different languages available for download online to help people shop for and purchase insurance.
“We’re not just using a one-size-fits-all approach,” Davis said.
In 2007, there were nearly 308,000 Maryland residents speaking English less than very well, according to The AP. Spanish speakers comprised the largest population of non-English speakers with more than 142,643 people, and there were a little more than 28,000 people who spoke Chinese.
The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange website is currently only available in English. Users can access the agency’s calendar of events, find information about committees and access outside resources.