American Insurance

"Plain Language" Health Policies Required

Feb 10, 2012

Do you have trouble understanding health insurance? People in the market for health insurance will soon have clear, understandable and straightforward information on what health plans will cover, what limitations or conditions will apply, and what they will pay for services thanks to the Affordable Care Act – the health reform law – according to final regulations published today.

All consumers, for the first time, will really be able to clearly comprehend the sometimes confusing language insurance plans often use in marketing,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “This will give them a new edge in deciding which plan will best suit their needs and those of their families or employees.”

Under the rule announced today, health insurers must provide consumers with clear, consistent and comparable summary information about their health plan benefits and coverage. The new explanations, which will be available beginning, or soon after, September 23, 2012 will be a critical resource for the roughly 150 million Americans with private health insurance today.

Specifically, these rules will ensure consumers have access to two key documents that will help them understand and evaluate their health insurance choices:

  • A short, easy-to-understand Summary of Benefits and Coverage ( or “SBC”); and
  • A uniform glossary of terms commonly used in health insurance coverage, such as “deductible” and “co-payment.”

To view the template for the Summary of Benefits and Coverage and the glossary, click: Resources
To view the Final Rule, click: Final Rule
For more information on the rules announced today, click: Factsheet

Source: Health and Human Services, News Release – Feb 9, 2012

 

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