The health insurance industry is a heavily regulated one. And this is for a good reason, as ultimately, people’s lives depend on it.
Whether that’s getting a customer the health care they’re entitled to through their employment, dealing with a claim after an accident, making sure a financial settlement is correct and covers compensation accurately, or covering their cost of living during recovery, these are serious matters.
At LinguaLinx, we commonly translate health insurance documentation for clients, and we know how important it is to do this correctly.
Aside from health insurance companies being legally obliged to do this, they’re also morally obliged to give their customers the best service and protect their interests. And here’s the icing on the cake: a 2020 CSA Research survey found that 76% of people “prefer to buy products with information in their native language.”
As a Language Service Provider (LSP), we’re used to dealing with compliance throughout many industries. We have a wide network of experts who specialize in different sectors to ensure people get the information they need in the language they’re most comfortable with.
In this article, we’ll look at a few things health insurance companies need to consider when they get documents translated for their clients.
Understand the Laws and Regulations
Any company translating health insurance documentation needs to have a complete grasp of the laws within their jurisdiction. Laws and regulations vary from state to state, territory to territory, and country to country.
For example, in the USA, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has to be adhered to for any healthcare translations. This prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.
Documents must be translated into the top 15 non-English languages in the state in which the policy is active. Here’s a state-by-state list to help you know which languages apply to each state.
The ACA is at a federal government level. Each state will also have its own regulations that need to be considered.
Maintain Complete Accuracy
Sounds obvious, right? And it is, but we mention this because making sure the translation is one hundred percent accurate is not only important for your reputation as a health insurance provider, but you run the risk of non-compliance if your translation isn’t accurate.
Accuracy runs into design too. Simply changing fonts can make some translations of languages with non-English characters or symbols difficult to read, as not all fonts support all languages.
The rule of thumb is to keep design as simple as possible. A good LSP will ensure the translation is proofread in its final, designed state.
The best translators have both a background in translation and the industry they’re translating.
When dealing with an intricate industry like health insurance, industry experience gives the translator an understanding of the nuances of the sector.
They’ll be able to provide a more accurate translation because they have context and can suggest the best way to phrase documentation besides just cut-and-paste translation.
Translation Service Accreditation
Industry expertise is one side of the equation; the other is using a properly accredited translation service. There are two main accreditations you want to look for:
- American Translators Association (ATA) - The ATA was “established to advance the translation and interpreting professions and to foster the professional development of its members.”
- International Organization of Standards (ISO) - The translation accreditation is ISO 17100, which “provides requirements for the core processes, resources, and other aspects necessary for the delivery of a quality translation service that meets applicable specifications.”
Don’t Let Anyone Get “Lost In Translation”
Language should never prevent people from receiving the medical care or compensation they require. It should also never be a reason why health insurance companies get into hot water over claims or end up with costly legal fees to rectify matters that could’ve been avoided in the first place with an experienced, qualified translation team.
If your translation team knows the laws they’re operating within and have specific health insurance industry knowledge so they can be as accurate as possible, then you shouldn’t go far wrong.
Get a Quote for Your Health Insurance Translation Project
If you’re thinking about a translation project, we’d love to sit down and talk with you about it.
With LinguaLinx, you won't ever have to worry about your message getting lost as it’s translated. You know you're in good hands with our ISO 17100 compliance, twenty years of professional translation experience, and the organizations whose trust we've earned.
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