Limited English Proficiency Interpreter Services for Medical Appointments
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides that doctors and agencies getting federal money should make language services available to people who do not speak or understand English well enough to access services. Medical Assistance (MA) doctors must give free access to an interpreter to all people that use their office and need an interpreter in order to access medical care. The Office of Medical Assistance Programs expects all MA doctors to comply.
If you use a Medical Assistance Managed Care Organization (MCO), call the Special Needs Unit of your MCO for help.
- Pennsylvania Medicaid Managed Care Organization Directory
Since you have services through the MA program, you will need to ask your doctor to help you get an interpreter. If you have problems getting an interpreter, you or someone helping you can contact us to ask for more help. Call the Office of Medical Assistance, Bureau of Fee-for-Service Programs and leave a voice mail message. Messages are checked daily. If a message is left after normal working hours, we will call you the next day with an interpreter to help you.
Bureau of Fee-for-Service Programs
Use one of the following methods to request a language interpreter.
- Call 1-866-872-8969 — Choose Option #1 for English, Option #2 for Spanish, Option #3 for Vietnamese, Option #4 for Cambodian, Option #5 for Russian, Option #6 for Mandarin Chinese, or Option #7 for a sign language interpreter and leave a detailed voice mail message.
- TDD/TTY: PA Relay 711 — Give the operator the 1-866-872-8969 phone number to call, choose Option #7 for a sign language interpreter, and leave a detailed voice mail message.
- E-mail — MA-Interpreter@pa.gov
You or someone helping you will need to know the information below when calling:
- Person's name
- Person's ten digit Medical Assistance ID number
- Doctor's name, address and telephone number
- Date and time of appointment
- Language needed
- Reason why the doctor did not provide an interpreter (if known)
If you need our help, please call two weeks before your doctor's appointment. Calling will give us enough time to have an interpreter for your appointment.