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Spanish version of full of translation mistakes, glitches

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Signing up for insurance can be confusing.

"It's a very intimidating topic. There are all these terms that people are not familiar with; deductible, co-pay, co-insurance, out-of-pocket maximum," said Elizabeth Colvin, with Insure Central Texas.

She runs the Foundation Communities help center at Highland Mall.

"At least 50% of our customers speak only Spanish, or prefer to only to be served in Spanish," said Colvin.

The page launched two months late, leaving Spanish-speakers to fend for themselves on the English version, unless they got help from counselors like Glirsa (Gigi) Veliz.

Veliz said, "We have every single customer who says I get stuck on this, I already have my account or I have my eligibility letter and I don't know what else to do."

Since the site has been active, some users have reported disappointment and frustration with the functionality and language.

The website translates "premium" into "prima," but that Spanish word is more commonly used to mean a female cousin.

Veliz said, "They are really happy to have a website that they can understand, that they can deal with a little one or two words that are kind of weird there."

Still, Veliz acknowledges other problems with the site.

"When you get to the insurance, the insurance selections, those are just in English," said Veliz. "As soon as you get to the marketplace, where you really buy the insurance, that information is just in English."

Foundation Communities has helped more than 1,000 people enroll in insurance since October.

Colvin said, "The enrollment deadline is actually March 31st, but you absolutely should not wait until then."

There are also concerns about citizenship, but counselors say you don't have to be a U.S. Citizen to buy insurance, just lawfully residing here.


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