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Overview of Health Coverage for Individuals with Limited English Proficiency

This brief provides an overview of the population of people in the United States with limited English proficiency (LEP) and describes their access to health coverage and care. There were 21.1 million such individuals in 2010, accounting for nearly 9 percent of the nonelderly population. Most are Hispanic, Spanish-speaking adults. They are more likely to be in low-wage jobs and industries that do not offer health coverage, and are more likely to face barriers accessing coverage and care. The paper explains the ways in which the Affordable Care Act will provide new coverage options for many in this population, including Medicaid and insurance through the new exchanges.

Brief (.pdf)