ULG’s Language Solutions Blog

Are you prepared for open enrollment? Get your translations started today


In every annual enrollment period, health plans need to ensure they meet compliance standards, tight deadlines, and budgetary requirements.

This year, with CMS and regulations putting more emphasis on meaningful language access, member -experience and improved outcomes, it is critical for health plans to deliver an exceptional and equitable member experience. To support this experience, providing language services and delivering culturally relevant communications will be important in addressing and engaging diverse members throughout the enrollment process.  

Getting Ahead of the Curve

Here are tips your plan can leverage to create efficient, effective language and cultural support efficient, effective to stay ahead of the curve during this upcoming AEP:

  1.  Evaluate and elevate the current experience. To know where you need to expand language services or adapt communication, you must look at the current experience against member needs or preferences.  For example, you may find that your older Hispanic members prefer to have a bilingual navigator support them in the process vs. just having the printed or online content.  Understanding where there are opportunities throughout the experiences can help you create an efficient and effective plan that improves outcomes. 

  2.  Send us your draft documents now and we can get started on the translation right away. We know CMS may take some time to approve your drafts, but there is no need to lose weeks or even months with translations. As long as the changes are minor when you get final approval from the regulatory bodies, we can quickly update the translated versions and format them for you.

  3.  Ensure your materials are truly accessible. Along with language access and translation requirements, health plans that provide Medicare and Medicaid must also provide appropriate services, such as alternative formats where necessary for effective communication. Learn more on how ULG helps plans ensure accessibility through alternative formats by clicking here.

  4. Develop style guides and glossaries. If you don’t have a style guide or glossary yet, now is a good time to create one with your language service provider. This will streamline and standardize your organization’s preferences throughout all documents and will save you substantial time on the translation and review process.

  5. Use Translation Memory. By recycling previously translated terms commonly used in these standard documents you can reduce turnaround time and improve consistency. For example, by implementing TM we were able to help one publicly traded health plan reduce the translation time of a 300,000 word EOC from 21 days to 10.

  6. Plan for increased call volume this year: Language access isn’t only about printed documents. Last-minute changes to the prices your members pay for coverage will likely generate increased call volume. Now is a good time to audit your over-the-phone interpreting solution to make sure you can quickly scale up and down as needed. 

How ULG can support you 

ULG’s healthcare team works with you every step of the way to plan for enrollment and compliance success. By collaborating early on, we determine how to best manage the versioning of your documents, accessibility requirements, leverage translation tools, and more.

ULG delivers for successful compliance during open enrollment include:
  1. Faster turnaround times and streamlined project cycles
  2. 24/7 project status tracking, so there are no missed deadlines
  3. Flexible integration possibilities – technology that performs in any environment and device
  4. Bilingual Navigator and multicultural engagement solutions to support culturally relevant communication

We provide easy-to-use online translation services through OctaveTMS which will allow you to track the progress of your project at any point in time. Plus, our technology can easily align to your platform, ensuring a seamless workflow for managing your enrollment content and versioning from start to finish. This provides the flexibility you need to stay ahead of the game, even with last-minute changes.     

Here’s how one health insurer leveraged innovative language services to comply with new regulations and translate 30,000+ materials before the deadline. To read the case study, click here.

Our team of experts is here to help with a complete package of language access services, from interpreting support to document translation and more. 

Ready to get started on your open enrollment translations? Contact us today!