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Myriad languages, cultures challenge health reform

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — While new marketplaces are being created for buying health insurance, many states are facing cultural and language hurdles in trying to promote and explain the changes to ethnic and hard-to-reach populations.

States with large and diverse immigrant populations have the added challenge of reaching people who speak limited or no English, and they have little time to do it. Enrollment in the exchanges begins in October.

California has the largest minority population of any state, about 22.3 million people. That’s followed by Texas with 13.7 million, New York with 8.1 million, Florida with 7.9 million and Illinois with 4.7 million.

Spanish is the second most popular language, followed by Chinese.

Advocates say the success of the national health reforms will depend on the success of enrolling these communities.

Associated Press