INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Medical coverage isn’t a luxury everyone has and getting a medical plan to meet your needs may be even harder when there’s a language barrier.
A local insurance provider is continuing its work to assure language barriers aren’t the problem.
According to data from a 2010-2018 analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Latino community has one of the highest rates of uninsured. During National Hispanic Heritage month, people in the medical field say the trend needs changing. Getting access to more resources in Spanish could help. Things are a bit easier to understand when you’re speaking the same language. It’s something that could be taken for granted when people speak English in a predominately English-speaking place.
“We help our members overcome the barriers they face in their day-to-day lives so they can take charge of their health care,” said Kevin O’Toole, chief executive officer of Managed Health Services.
In Indiana about 100 different languages are spoken. For the many people who speak Spanish, navigating the health care system can get tough.
Factors affecting the Latino community include immigration status and income. The analysis showed a spike in insurance coverage after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, but more data shows those spikes have slowed.
“We quickly realized a significant portion of both our employees and our members had bilingual requirements,” O’Toole said.
Access to translated material or someone who speaks Spanish isn’t always available. O’Toole said his business has been working to change that. The Indiana-based company provides information online and in print in Spanish and also offers access to bilingual services 24 hours a day.
“We are committed to the Hispanic community and raising awareness about health and wellness. We embrace all the cultural disparities of our members.”