Feds Slow To Roll Out Spanish-Language Health Care Website
The federal government plans to quietly roll out the Spanish-language version of HealthCare.gov any day now. The soft launch for the Affordable Care Act’s Spanish-language enrollment site is set for early December.
Many suspect adding Spanish speakers might jam the system with even more problems.
The U.S. Health and Human Services Department said in a statement:
"We think it’s important to engage with key stakeholders and organizations in this process and get their feedback. Shortly after and into January, we will ramp up our promotional efforts to drive Spanish speakers to CuidadoDeSalud.gov."
But that’s after an important deadline, points out Magdalena Castro Lewis, the vice president for programs at the National Alliance for Hispanic Health.
“The due date for enrollment coming up on Dec. 23 for those that want services to start Jan. 1 is approaching,” Castro Lewis said. “So that is leaving us very little time.”
About 10 million uninsured Latinos might be eligible for coverage. And a third of them would prefer information in Spanish, according to Latino Decisions, a public opinion research group.
Castro Lewis said many Spanish speakers do not have Internet access. They can get help now by phone or with the help of a bilingual enrollment counselor.
To date the federal call center has taken 117,000 Spanish-speaking calls.