CCIIO Issues 2013 County Data For ACA Notices For Non-English Speakers

The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) has released an updated list of all counties in the United States that meet or exceed the 10-percent threshold of people who are literate only in the same non-English language. Group health plans and health insurance issuers offering non-grandfathered health coverage can use the list to determine the counties in which they are required to provide relevant notices under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.

External review notice. Public Health Service Act (PHSA) Sec. 2719 requires non-grandfathered group health plans and health insurance issuers offering non-grandfathered health insurance coverage to provide notices related to a consumer’s right to external review in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. The regulations implementing Sec. 2719 require these plans and issuers to make certain accommodations for notices sent to an address in a county meeting a threshold percentage of people who are literate only in the same non-English language.

The threshold percentage for group markets is that at least 10 percent of the population in the claimant’s county speak a particular non-English language and speak English less than “very well” as determined by American Community Survey (ACS) data published by the United States Census Bureau.

Summary of benefits and coverage. PHSA Sec. 2715 requires group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group and individual coverage to provide the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) and uniform glossary in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. The regulations implementing Sec. 2715 adopt the 10-percent threshold set forth in the PHSA Sec. 2719 implementing regulations.

The list includes those 257 U.S. counties (78/257 are in Puerto Rico) in which the 10-percent threshold is met. The data is applicable for 2013 and is calculated using 2007-2011 ACS data. The list will be updated annually.

For more information, visit http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/Downloads/2013-clas-data.pdf.

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