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New Report: Overview of Health Coverage for Individuals with Limited English Proficiency

Monday, August 20, 2012

  • Organization: Kaiser Family Foundation Commission on Medicaid and The Uninsured

As of 2009, approximately 21% of nonelderly people in the United States spoke a language other than English at home and nearly 9% were identified as having limited English proficiency (LEP), meaning that they reported being unable to speak English “very well” (Figure 1). The Civil Rights Act and other federal and state laws have reinforced the responsibility that health agencies have in offering assistance to individuals with LEP to ensure meaningful access to benefits, but data show that individuals with LEP face significant barriers to accessing health coverage and care compared to those who report speaking English very well.1 This brief provides an overview of the LEP population and their access to health coverage and care.

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