Kansas City, Mo. - U.S. Census projections issued in 2004 state the number of U.S population speak a language other than English at home will continue to trend upward. Two insurance industry organizations addressed this trend by launching Spanish-language Web sites. 

Latinos account for more than half of the 6.3 million Californians who lack health insurance, even though they constitute only 31% of the state's population, says Charlene Maher, vice president and general manager of Blue Cross of California's individual services, which INN reported in December 2006 launched a Web site called NuestroBien, which is Spanish for "our well being." The site, www.nuestrobien.com, presents articles in English and Spanish on prevention, nutrition and early detection of health problems.

Nuestrobien.com offers information on the leading health care problems for Latinos, tips on improving health and links to the Blue Cross of California Web site. The site's "Kids Center" provides games and animated clips on how the human body works. More 600 health-related articles for parents, teens and kids are available in both languages.

More recently, Kansas City, Mo.-based National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) launched a Spanish-language version of its education-based consumer Web site, Insure U. The site (www.insureuonline.org/espanol/) is organized by life stage to help consumers get smart about insurance and better understand their evolving insurance needs.

"Insurance is a complex subject, and many consumers need help understanding their options. That's why we created Insure U," says Walter Bell, NAIC president and Alabama insurance commissioner. "With our Web site fully translated into Spanish, we now can extend our outreach to Spanish-speaking consumers in their native language."

The public education effort includes a new television and radio public service announcement (PSA) in Spanish, similar to a PSA currently running in English. These messages educate the public on how to avoid being scammed by fake insurance companies. 

Select NAIC consumer alerts and consumer-based news releases are distributed in both English and Spanish. "This Spanish language site is an important addition to our current efforts to help educate all consumers about insurance," says Catherine Weatherford, NAIC executive vice president and CEO. "The NAIC is dedicated to making its consumer-oriented services available to everyone. We understand that consumer issues do not solely exist in the English-speaking communities of the United States. It is our goal to make sure that the growing Spanish-speaking population is well versed on insurance issues and what is available to them as consumers."

The Insure U site, which covers basic information on the major types of insurance - life, health, auto and homeowners/renters insurance - offers special considerations and tips for saving money and selecting coverage for young singles, young families, established families and seniors/empty nesters. In addition, there's a quiz for each life stage, enabling consumers to test their knowledge on insurance issues and topics. 

Sources: NAIC, Blue Cross of California and INN archives


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