Bill Text

Bill Information

PDF |Add To My Favorites | print page

AB-505 Medi-Cal: managed care: language assistance services.(2013-2014)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
AB505:v92#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 505
CHAPTER 788

An act to add Section 14029.91 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to Medi-Cal.

[ Approved by Governor  September 29, 2014. Filed with Secretary of State  September 29, 2014. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 505, Nazarian. Medi-Cal: managed care: language assistance services.
Existing law provides for the Medi-Cal program, which is administered by the State Department of Health Care Services, under which qualified low-income individuals receive health care services. The Medi-Cal program is, in part, governed and funded by federal Medicaid Program provisions. Under existing law, one of the methods by which Medi-Cal services are provided is pursuant to contracts with various types of managed care plans.
This bill would require the department to require all managed care plans contracting with the department to provide Medi-Cal services, except as specified, to provide language assistance services, which includes oral interpretation and translation services, to limited-English-proficient Medi-Cal beneficiaries, as defined. The bill would require the department to determine when a limited-English-proficient population meets the requirement for translation services, as prescribed.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 14029.91 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

14029.91.
 (a) The department shall require all managed care plans contracting with the department to provide Medi-Cal services to provide language assistance services to limited-English-proficient (LEP) Medi-Cal beneficiaries who are mandatorily enrolled in managed care in the following manner:
(1) Oral interpretation services shall be provided in any language on a 24-hour basis at key points of contact.
(2) Translation services shall be provided to the language groups identified by the department.
(b) The department shall determine when an LEP population meets the requirement for translation services using one of the following numeric thresholds:
(1) A population group of at least 3,000 or 5 percent of the beneficiary population, whichever is fewer, mandatory Medi-Cal beneficiaries, residing in the service area, who indicate their primary language as other than English.
(2) A population group of mandatory Medi-Cal beneficiaries, residing in the service area, who indicate their primary language as other than English, and that meet a concentration standard of 1,000 beneficiaries in a single ZIP Code or 1,500 beneficiaries in two contiguous ZIP Codes.
(c) The department shall make this determination if any of the following occurs:
(1) A nonmanaged care county becomes a new managed care county.
(2) A new population group becomes a mandatory Medi-Cal managed care beneficiary population.
(3) A period of three years has passed since the last determination.
(d) The department shall instruct managed care plans, by means of incorporating the requirement into plan contracts, all-plan letters, or similar instructions, of the language groups that meet the numeric thresholds.
(e) For purposes of this section, a person is “limited-English-proficient” if he or she speaks English less than very well.
(f) This section shall not apply to mental health plans contracting with the department pursuant to Section 14712.