Language/Disability Application Access
The diversity among the millions who will become eligible for state health subsidy programs will be substantial. States need to ensure that enrollment tools and communications are accessible and understandable to the broad range of individuals applying.
*Full name: Develop and test applications and other communications that are accessible to people with limited English proficiency, low literacy, physical disabilities, or who lack computer or phone access.
*Relevance to the ACA:
The ACA requires states to establish multiple application methods and to ensure accessibility for the diverse range of individuals who will be applying. Provisions relevant to accessible applications and communications include:
§1001 – Requirement that insurers provide an accurate summary of benefits and coverage, in a format understandable by consumers.
§1002 – Grants to establish or expand offices of health insurance consumer assistance or health insurance ombudsman programs.
§1311 – Health plans must submit information about their plans in “plain language” – a language that would be understandable by the intended audience; the Secretaries of HHS and Labor will provide guidance on plain language. An Exchange will establish a program to award grants to support navigators who will engage in public education, disseminate information, and assist in enrollment.
§1413 – Creation of a single application form by the Secretary or a state for all health subsidy programs, structured for ease of understandability by consumers, taking into account the diverse characteristics of those who will be applying for coverage and allowing for submission through multiple methods. Requirement that consumers can use this form to apply online, in person, by mail, or by telephone.
§2201 – States will establish outreach and enrollment assistance to vulnerable and underserved populations.less