This should provide vital comparison data that assists consumers in making the best choice.
As consumers find it very challenging to sift through the vast array of different complex health insurance plans, with all of their different coverages, caps, rules, regulations, and exceptions a new law has now been put into effect, which requires insurers to issue fact sheets to make this process easier.
This data is meant to help people covered through their employers as well as in the individual market.
Last week, the Affordable Care Act added its latest regulation into the mix, which involves standard fact sheets that will allow consumers to be able to compare one plan to another in an apples-to-apples way. These sheets will use a single format and will be worded in plain English, instead of being filled with industry jargon with which many consumers are not familiar.
Consumer advocates have compared the health insurance fact sheets to the nutrition labels on food packages.
Lynn Quincy, senior health policy analyst for a Consumer Reports division, Consumers Union, “When insurance is described using the same format for each plan, it makes it so much easier for consumers to compare.”
The type of information that will be covered by the fact sheets put out by the health insurance companies will include out of pocket limits, co-payments for medical services, deductibles, what is covered by the plan, what is not covered by the plan, and whether or not a referral is required in order to have a specialist’s services covered. This information will all be located on the same place on the forms provided by each company.
This is meant to make the information much easier to obtain, understand, and compare among plans as well as among insurers. These documents will also offer a few hypothetical examples that are meant to illustrate the amount that consumers might have to pay in the case that they are having a baby or managing type 2 diabetes. This added health insurance information is designed to give consumers the opportunity to see the information applied to a realistic scenario, instead of simply in its data format.