Resources to Help Health Plans Meet Communication Accessibility Requirements and Population Needs

Date: July 19, 2023
Time to read: 2 minutes.

Click Here to Access the Resource Guide

Individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid are more likely to need communication accommodations relative to the Medicare-only population, as over 50 percent of dually eligible individuals qualify for Medicare benefits based on disability status, compared to 15 percent among Medicare-only individuals.1 Sources indicate that among the population enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid, around 8 percent have Limited English Proficiency (LEP); within this group, about 21 percent are dually eligible individuals.2,3 Historical trends indicate the prevalence of disability and LEP among dually eligible individuals will continue to increase over time.4,5

Health plans and providers of dually eligible individuals are required to provide communication accommodations aligned with federal regulations and grounded in evidence pointing to the importance of accessible communication and language assistance.6 The new Communication Accessibility Resource Guide at the link above summarizes existing regulations and resources to aid health plan and provider organizations in implementing organizational strategies, policies, and practices to support communication accessibility and health equity. Included resources draw on and consolidate existing guidance to plans and providers from federal agencies and focus on addressing the unique needs of dually eligible individuals living with visual, auditory, speech, or cognitive disabilities, as well as those with LEP.

1 Medicare Payment Advisory Commission & Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission. (2023). Data Book: Beneficiaries Dually Eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Retrieved from

2 Proctor K, Wilson-Frederick SM, & Haffer SC. (2018). The Limited English Proficient Population: Describing Medicare, Medicaid, and Dual Beneficiaries. Health Equity, 2(1), 82-89. Retrieved from

3 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2017). Understanding Communication and Language Needs of Medicare Beneficiaries. Retrieved from

4 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2023). MMCO Statistical & Analytic Reports. Retrieved from

5 United States Census Bureau. (2022). What Languages Do We Speak in the United States? Retrieved from

6 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2017).