The DMHC regulations fully implement SB 853, authored by former Senator Martha Escutia (D-Montebello), which requires California health plans to set up a system where services, materials, and information are provided to members in a language that they speak and understand. The regulations require each of the 100 full-service and specialty health care plans (e.g. dental, vision) under the DMHC's jurisdiction to develop and implement its own language assistance program. In addition to language assistance, health plans are required to translate such things as:
- Standard letters and notices of insurance eligibility and membership requirements
- Notices of any denial, reduction, modification, or termination of services and benefits
- Notices of the right to file grievances or appeals
The legislation requires the DMHC to Report to the Legislature every two years on health plan compliance with the Language Assistance standards.
Visit Language Services to see services available in your language.
Submit implementation questions to LanguageAccess@dmhc.ca.gov.
Language Assistance Filing Checklists
The Department's Language Assistance Work Group has developed guidelines in the form of the Language Assistance Filing Checklists to assist health plans in meeting their filing obligations pursuant to Section 1300.67.04(e)(2) for Language Assistance Programs (LAP).
Notice of Language Assistance
To further the Department's mission of patient protection and assist plans in their implementation efforts, we have developed a Sample Notice of Language Assistance that can be included with non-vital documents and other plan correspondence. This notice is translated into twelve Medi-Cal threshold languages and informs enrollees that they can:
- Get an interpreter at no cost to talk to their doctor or health plan
- Request written information be provided in their language
- Contact the DMHC's Help Center if they need further assistance
The use of this sample notice, in whole or in part, is completely voluntary.
Plans are required to assess their membership for threshold languages. You can see a list of each plan’s threshold languages.
Cultural Appropriateness Report
Health Care Service Plan’s are required to submit their one time Cultural Appropriateness Report to the Department, the Language Assistance Assessment pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 1367.04.
Language Assistance Technical Assistance Guide