Magellan Healthcare
Provider Focus Newsletter
News & information for Magellan network providers

region/plan-specific news : California

Think a member's language barrier is a roadblock to care? Think again

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Magellan* furnishes language assistance services at no cost

Do you work with clients with limited English proficiency (LEP)? Or perhaps you’d like to, but you are concerned the language barrier could impede your ability to provide adequate care? 

Magellan supports culturally sensitive care of our members that respects the member's cultural health beliefs, practices and language preference.

You probably know that members have the right to access healthcare services in the language of their preference. But did you also realize that Magellan furnishes robust language assistance services (an interpreter for in-person or telephonic interactions, or translation of vital documents), free of charge?

Some things to know about the language assistance program:

  • Magellan regularly solicits member feedback on language preference and ethnicity, so when we refer a member to you, we can often provide this information.
  • If a member self-refers, and you feel language assistance may be required, call Magellan at the member’s program number to request it. Or you may encourage the member to contact us. 
  • Members should never be charged for language assistance services. And it is never appropriate to decline to serve a member because of a language barrier.
    • For behavioral health services, interpretation should be performed by qualified interpreters familiar with healthcare terminology. We use a professional, credentialed interpretation company with interpreters in various languages. 
    • Members should never be required to ask family members or friends to act as interpreters, unless absolutely necessary. If, however, a member prefers a family member or friend and declines an offer of a professional interpreter, the member’s preference can be honored. This preference should be recorded in the member’s treatment record.
    • If you are a qualified bilingual provider in the member’s preferred language or have office staff qualified to serve an interpreter in that language, you or your office staff member may furnish the interpretation.
    • Remember to record member language preferences in your records, including the member’s response when you offer interpretation or translation services.

All Magellan members have access to Magellan's Language Assistance Program (LAP)

Thank you for caring for non-English speaking members. Together, we can reduce disparities in healthcare and give all of our members the best care.


*In California, Magellan does business as Human Affairs International of California, Inc. and/or Magellan Health Services of California, Inc. – Employer Services.



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About Provider Focus

Welcome to Provider Focus, our award-winning e-newsletter for network providers! Here you’ll find articles and information to keep you up-to-date on news and topics relevant to serving Magellan members, including a section for regional- and plan-specific news. Check back as a new issue is released each quarter.

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