HHS introduces new health insurance documents

Health Insurance confusion

Health Insurance confusionHHS combats confusion in health insurance with new documentation

When it comes to health insurance, documentation can be tedious and cumbersome for consumers. In the U.S., lengthy documentation, and the confusing language that is used to write such documents, has been targeted by the Affordable Care Act. This week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the launch of a new health insurance document that is significantly shorter than its previous iteration. The federal agency believes that this revised documentation will provide more clarity to consumers looking to apply for health insurance coverage.

Three page documents now the standard for the health insurance industry

The original documentation approved by the HHS was 21 pages long. This particular documentation concerned those applying for individual health insurance coverage. The length of the documentation is linked to the language it contains. This language is meant to provide insurance companies with adequate legal protections but most consumers are not capable of understanding the legal terms that are used within the documentation, thus breeding confusion. The HHS expects that the new documentation, which is only three pages long, will be better suited for the health insurance industry.

Confusion cited as significant problem among consumers

Confusion has been a major concern for federal officials as the Affordable Care Act begins to show an impact across the country. The law requires that insurers be more transparent in their dealings with consumers and ensure that policies are easily understood. Many health insurance companies have made efforts to comply with the law, but doing so has been somewhat problematic as what could be considered confusing to some people may not actually be confusing to others. Thus, insurers have largely been relying on the federal government for some guidance.

Documents expected to help consumers find appropriate coverage through exchange

Beginning October 1 of this year, consumers will be able to purchase health insurance coverage through exchange programs that will be represented in every state. Those purchasing coverage through these exchanges will make use of the new federal documentations developed by the HHS. These three page forms will have all the information that consumers need regarding the health insurance policies they are interested in.