Last month, CMS announced a first-ever plan to address health equity in Medicare. One of the major priorities is to improve communication and language access for individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). This is important because of the sheer numbers of people it affects and because language barriers are a major cause of low-income older adults being unable to access the health care they need. Here are ten things you should know about language access advocacy for older adults.
1. Women over 75 are at particular risk of poverty.
2.The Supplemental Poverty Measure continues to tell a very different story about senior poverty than the Official Poverty Measure.
3. Anti-poverty efforts, like Medicare and Medicaid, dramatically reduce senior poverty.
For the first time, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a plan to address health equity in Medicare. The plan, developed by the Office of Minority Health, will focus on populations that experience barriers to accessing care and lower quality of care. These include rural residents, Limited English Proficiency (LEP) individuals, racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and LGBT individuals. The plan aims to reduce health disparities in four years, and focuses on six priorities.