Virginia insurance regulators have implemented a telephone translation service that will allow consumers who speak little or no English to ask questions or make complaints about insurers or coverage.
Approximately 2.7 percent of Virginia’s population — more than 180,000 people — have little or no English language skills. The majority of those — about 64 percent, or 118,000 — speak Spanish. About 13 percent, or 24,00 people, speak Korean or Vietnamese.
The Virginia State Corporation said the effort will improve its outreach efforts. It will allow regulators to “assist a segment of Virginia’s population that we may not have been able to assist previously,” said Insurance Commissioner Jacqueline K. Cunningham.
Funding for the program comes health care reform: It’s a federal grant established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
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