Working to Meet Members’ Language Needs

Highmark’s quality improvement efforts are designed to ensure quality care and member satisfaction. To achieve these goals, we continually review the aspects of our plan that affect member care and satisfaction and look for ways to improve them. One way to do that is to share details with network practitioners about the languages members in their area may speak and to provide information on available interpreting services.

Highmark annually assesses languages spoken by the population in our service area and compares them to the data that practitioners report on their network applications. Our 2021 analysis concluded that the following counties had greater than 1,000 residents speaking the following primary languages:


Counties in which language is spoken, and PCPs are available who speak the language:

Counties in which language is spoken, and there are no PCPs available who speak the language:


Dauphin, Lehigh

Chinese (including Mandarin and Cantonese)

Centre-Dauphin, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton

French, Haitian, and Cajun

Berks, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lehigh

German or Other West Germanic

Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, York


Other Asian Languages

Berks, Centre-Cumberland, Dauphin, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, York


Other Indo-European

Berks, Centre-Cumberland, Dauphin, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, York


Russian, Polish, or Other Slavic

Berks, Cumberland, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, York


Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, York


Dauphin, Lancaster


  • The above data is from the 2019 U.S. Census - American Community Survey Five-Year Estimates.
  • This information is based on county population and not Highmark membership population.

In addition, our telephone translation vendor provided a breakdown of all calls Highmark customer service representatives received during the year that required interpreter services. In 2020, Member Services received 32,124 calls from members speaking 58 different languages. That was an 18.9 percent increase from 2019. The largest percentage of calls (90.3 percent) was from members speaking Spanish. The total number of calls serviced for Spanish was 29,015.

In 2020, Highmark received 32,124 requests for telephone translation. The following is a breakdown of the language requests:

  • Spanish 29,015 (90.3%)
  • Mandarin 538 (1.7%)
  • Vietnamese 414 (1.3%)
  • All other language requests were below 1.0% for the year.