February 24, 2021

Bucks Blog: Can a New Form Make Health Insurance Decisions Easier?

The world of health insurance is complex and loaded with jargon. Pre-existing conditions! Family deductibles! Out-of-pocket maximums! Ugh. It’s no wonder people get confused when trying to compare plans.

So as part of the health care reform act, the federal government will require insurance companies to provide simplified summaries of plan options to patients when they are shopping for or enrolling in health insurance.

Click to enlarge (pdf)

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services published a proposed form that would outline basic plan components, like premiums and deductibles, and what services are not covered. It also provides examples of common scenarios, like having a baby, treating breast cancer or managing diabetes, so consumers can estimate what proportion of treatment they would have to pay for under different plans. The form was developed by a group led by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and, according to the department, was tested on consumers.

“You’re not alone in your confusion,” wrote Don Berwick, administrator of the arm of HHS that oversees Medicare and Medicaid, in a blog post Wednesday. “Too many Americans don’t have access to information in plain language to help them understand the health coverage they have.”

The proposed form, which is still subject to revision, is six pages long. You can view it here (pdf).

What do you think? Is the form helpful, or would you suggest changes?

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=b754b1ee8d33ec351f73fa397b9b08c6

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