This bill would require the State Department of Health Care Services to ensure that all written health education and informing materials, as defined, in English and those translated into threshold languages by managed care plans are at or below the equivalent of 6th grade reading level. The bill would require the department to require managed care plans or other contractors to conduct a one-time, targeted community review of health education and informing materials in English and each threshold language, in order for members to ensure the cultural and linguistic appropriateness of materials in community-based settings. The bill would require the managed care plans to report the findings of the community review process, and would require the department to publish those findings and develop recommendations for additional readability and suitability standards based on the findings. The bill would include a statement of legislative findings and declarations.
To the Members of the California State Assembly:
I am returning Assembly Bill 2299 without my signature.
I signed legislation last year to codify the Affordable Care Act’s language access provisions into state law. Furthermore, the department requires its plans to provide written materials in an easily understood and readily accessible format. Current law and contractual practice are sufficient to compel plans to make these important health care documents understandable for Medi-Cal beneficiaries.
Edmund G. Brown Jr.