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Feds pitching easy-to-understand insurance plan summaries
Modern Healthcare

HHS is looking to simplify health benefits information insurers provide to consumers in an effort to help people when they examine plans.

Under federal law, all group, individual and self-insured plans must include a summary of benefits and coverage for their members. These documents describe what the plans cover. They also explain cost-sharing functions, such as deductibles and copays, and special circumstances, such as whether a patient needs a referral to see a specialist.

Together, with the Departments of Labor and Treasury, HHS proposed rules Monday evening to make the summaries more concise and comprehensible for consumers. The new, proposed summaries of benefits and coverage would be only two-and-a-half pages, double-sided (or five pages total), compared with the current four-page double-sided (or eight pages) maximum.