Health Insurance To Provide Easy-To-Understand Plan Summaries


Topics: Insurance, Marketplace, Health Reform

Sep 25, 2012

On Monday, a health law provision goes into effect that requires insurance companies to provide user-friendly guides that provide explanations of plan benefits that will be as clear and easy to understand as the nutrition facts provided on food packages.

Reuters: Health Insurers Begin To Provide User-Friendly Plan Guides
The Obama administration on Monday began requiring health insurers to provide user-friendly guides to patients that explain their benefits, aiming to make buying insurance nearly as easy as scanning packages of food for nutrition facts. Under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law, employers and insurers must provide a summary of benefits and coverage in a clearly worded, standardized format that allows the private insurance market’s 163 million beneficiaries to make side-by-side comparisons of plan offerings (Morgan,9/24).

CQ HealthBeat: HHS Requires Easily-Understood Insurance Coverage Summaries
The Obama administration on Monday touted its implementation of a health care law provision that requires insurers to give consumers a plain-English summary of their benefits. Some patients who buy their coverage on their own in the individual market can find the summaries on the federal website www.healthcare.gov. Others can request it or will be sent summaries when enrolling in a health plan. The summaries are required for private insurers, who cover about 170 million people, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on a call with reporters on Monday (Adams, 9/24).

Modern Healthcare: Plain-Language Rules Go Into Effect For Health Plans, HHS Says
Insurance companies must now provide consumers in the individual health market a description of what their plans cover through a summary of benefits and coverage, HHS announced Monday. Required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the summary for consumers has information about covered health benefits, out-of-pocket costs and the network of providers (Zigmond, 9/24).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

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