Poor translations used by Washington, Oregon health care exchanges

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OLYMPIA — Translation efforts by the new health insurance exchanges in Washington and Oregon are getting poor marks by immigrant advocates.

Both states are attempting to help uninsured families navigate the new world of the Affordable Care Act.

But KOUW reports that on Washington Health Benefit Exchange's website there are fact sheets in eight languages, some using street language or slang while other translations are too rigid.

Washington's Health Benefit Exchange Michael Marchand says the fact sheets were made by certified translators. He says they are disappointed and will redo the fact sheets.

In Oregon, the exchange site directs users to Google Translate, the search engine's automated translation page.

A Cover Oregon spokesperson says Google Translate is temporary while a website in Spanish and other materials in several languages are produced.