The health care law offers clear choices for consumers and provides new ways to hold insurance companies accountable. The most important parts of the law are broken into groups below. We’ll highlight new features of the law here as they roll out between now and 2014.
Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) and Uniform Glossary
As of September 23, 2012 or soon after, health insurance issuers and group health plans are required to provide you with an easy-to-understand summary about a health plan’s benefits and coverage. The new regulation is designed to help you better understand and evaluate your health insurance choices.
The new forms include:
- A short, plain language Summary of Benefits and Coverage, or SBC
- A uniform glossary of terms commonly used in health insurance coverage, such as “deductible” and “copayment”
All insurance companies and group health plans must use the same standard SBC form to help you compare health plans. The SBC form also includes details, called “coverage examples,” which are comparison tools that allow you to see what the plan would generally cover in two common medical situations. You have the right to receive the SBC when shopping for or enrolling in coverage or if you request a copy from your issuer or group health plan. You may also request a copy of the glossary of terms from your health insurance company or group health plan.
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