The Affordable Care Act is hard enough to explain in English – it seems that almost nobody understands how the law will truly impact them and their families. So how in the world can agents communicate the changes to their Spanish-speaking clientele?
Explaining employee benefits to non-English speakers has always been a challenge, but most brokers are able to find someone in the group who can translate and help them understand. This may not work as well with health reform, though, because there’s a lot more to explain. Fortunately, there are some resources out there.
The Kaiser Family Foundation is one of the best sources of information about the ACA, and many brokers have seen their YouToons video, which helps explain the law in layman’s terms. But most people don’t know that there’s also a Spanish version available:
Showing this video during an enrollment meeting (or a meeting explaining why the employer has made the decision to drop the group health coverage) could save the broker some time and increase understanding about the law’s impact on employees.
There are some other helpful resources out there, including a Spanish-language page for individuals and families on Healthcare.gov. This page also contains a video which may be helpful to show to Spanish-speaking clients:
And here’s another from HHS explaining the premium tax credit in Spanish:
You may also want to check out Futuro Solido USA, a Colorado-based company that creates training material for Spanish-speaking employees and provides other Spanish language services, including written translation, on-site interpretation, and language instruction.
One word of caution: while brokers should certainly take advantage of any available resources that will help their clients better understand their options under the health reform legislation, you’ll also want to make sure you know what the videos are saying and that you are directing them to your website or your call center phone number for assistance. It’s important to make sure you’re not showing videos that tell the employees to log on to the “do-it-yourself” government website to apply for a subsidy.