Cultural Competency

Our Policy

Horizon BCBSNJ’s membership represents many cultural, ethnic, linguistic and racial backgrounds. To meet the needs of our members, including those that have limited English proficiency or reading skills, you are required to ensure that all clinical and nonclinical services are accessible to all members in a manner that:

  • Honors and is compatible with their cultural health beliefs and practices,
  • Is sensitive to cultural diversity, and
  • Fosters respect for their cultural backgrounds.

Understanding

It can be difficult for patients to understand their health care. That’s why it’s important that you provide patients with access to the educational and/or informational materials they need in all appropriate language(s) and format(s), if and when required. This includes materials in Braille and in large font type.

You may also need the services of a translator to assist patients who speak multiple languages. For more information about the importance of cultural competency, including the use of a medical interpreter, visit imiaweb.org/resources/cultcomp.asp.

Resources for the hard of hearing are available by visiting the State of NJ Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Sign Language Interpreters & Caption Services Directories.

Doctor & Hospital Finder

Horizon BCBSNJ members have access to a listing of physicians who speak languages other than English (including the ability to search for the top 20 most spoken languages) in our Doctor & Hospital Finder.

AT&T Language Line

Members may also contact Horizon BCBSNJ and ask for a Member Services Representative to assist them with locating a physician or other health care professional via our AT&T Language Line. The AT&T Language Line service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and helps our Member Service Representatives communicate with callers in more than 140 languages.

Additional language translation services and Text Telephone (TTY) service for the hearing impaired are also available at 711 at no additional cost.

Member Rights

As a reminder, Horizon BCBSNJ is committed to respecting our members’ rights to confidentiality, quality of care and service. We encourage our members, to the extent possible, to actively participate in making decisions about their health care and treatment options. Members have a right to:

  • Receive an explanation of their complete medical condition in terms they understand.
  • Have full, candid discussions regarding appropriate or medically necessary diagnostic treatment options regardless of cost or benefit coverage.
  • Refuse treatment and express preferences about future treatment options.

Other Resources

National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care

Think Cultural Health