Member Languages and Interpreters

Serving Members Better by Speaking Their Language

Treating the whole patient – not only their conditions – is a major component of delivering quality healthcare. Buckeye Health Plan offers you information and tools to help make that possible.

Member Demographics And Our Members

Buckeye Health Plan members speak more than 49 languages, and the population grows more diverse each year. In 2020, 92.5% of Ohio residents reported English as their preferred language, and 7.5% prefer another language, according to U.S. Census data. Buckeye Health Plan also identifies 15 non-English languages meeting a viable threshold among members in 2022. Buckeye Health Plan’s threshold languages include:

  • Spanish
  • Nepali / Nepalese (Nepal)
  • Arabic
  • Somali
  • Russian
  • French
  • Vietnamese
  • Swahili
  • Ukrainian
  • Cantonese (Chinese)
  • Kinyarwanda (Burundi)
  • Mandarin - Simplified
  • Afghani
  • Amharic
  • Gujarati

Working With Interpreters in Your Practice

To request an on-demand telephonic interpreter, please call 1-866-246-4358 and provide your patient’s Member ID number. Not sure of your patient’s language? Go to our website and click on “Language Assistance” in the footer at the bottom of the page and have the member point to their language. If it’s not listed, you can work with the interpreter service to identify the right language.

Using the speakerphone function is recommended for communication efficiency between you, your patient and the interpreter.

Providers that use bilingual staff to communicate with patients must ensure that bilingual staff can interpret effectively, accurately, and to and from the language of the patient and English, using any necessary specialized vocabulary terminology and phraseology.

Providers are strongly encouraged to document in the medical record the use of family, friends and minors as interpreters. If an interpreter is offered and the patient declines, the provider should also document this in the medical record.

All participating Buckeye Health Plan providers are required to comply with certain interpreter requirements.

  • Providers must ensure that bilingual staff who act as interpreters are qualified and meet the quality standards, which includes documentation that the staff member’s proficiency was assessed.
  • Patients can never be required to bring their own interpreters.
  • Minors may not interpret, even if their parent or other relative consents, unless there is an emergency and there is not a qualified interpreter immediately available.
  • An accompanying adult may interpret if the patient agrees and if it is appropriate to the situation.