Health | Local | Vital Signs

Affordable Care Act Should Simplify Insurance Paperwork

OPB | May 24, 2012 4:51 a.m. | Updated: June 7, 2013 10:24 a.m. | Portland, OR

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A new report on the Affordable Care Act finds that 67 percent of working Oregonians should see simplified paperwork from their health insurers in the near future.

Starting in September, the new health care law requires private health insurance companies provide concise, plain-language descriptions of their benefits and costs.

The idea is that by removing jargon and confusing language, it’ll be easier for consumers to make apples-to-apples comparisons when choosing between plans.

Ron Pollack of Families USA says they’re also likely to make smarter use of benefits.

“Everybody is interested in having health care coverage and it is perhaps the most important purchase that they’re making. And it is the one product where people have the least, or at least the most confusing information.  So, this is going to be a new day and it’s going to make a significant difference.”

The Families USA study found that about two-thirds of Oregonians are employed by companies that offer a choice of plans. That’s just about the same as the nation as a whole.

The Affordable Care Act also requires benefit summaries include how a consumer can appeal decisions, and their rights regarding the continuation of coverage.

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