Feds require consumer-friendly health plan briefs

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration says health plans must start providing more consumer-friendly summaries of coverage and costs so people will know what protection they have.

Officials are calling the summaries a "nutrition label for health care," naming it after those information panels found on packaged foods at the supermarket.

It's a new requirement of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, and one poll found that the summaries were the most popular provision in the massive law. Eventually all private and employer health plans will have to provide them.

The regulations that set a template for the summaries were issued Thursday.

Consumer representatives, insurers and employer groups are poring over the fine print to see how the administration balanced concerns about providing full disclosure while keeping compliance costs affordable for businesses.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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If the government is good at anything it is writing clear and consise documents. Have you read any IRS docs lately?

Maybe we need a truth in taxing law - then they could put a group together to review IRS instructions.

Actually, I just filed my Federal tax return as I do every year, and have never paid anyone to do it for me. I find the Federal fairly easy.....the state...a completely different story.

I suppose the Republicans will find fault with this.

the issue is...far too many folks don't read their policy until AFTER a claim...then find that the provider they used is out of network, etc. And no...I'm not in the health insurance business in case you were going to ask.

Folks need to take some initiative and learn what their health insurance does/does not pay...instead of being spoon-fed by the Feds.

How is this being spoon-fed? Some health insurance polices are very confusing to some people. The elderly may have trouble understanding them. Nothing wrong with having them made simpler. You might need them one day too. Good job not blaming Obama though !