If there was ever a time to recognize the necessity of expanding access to meaningful health coverage, it’s now.
Understanding Your Health Benefits
Like many of you, I find health insurance benefits to be difficult to interpret. Every time I've enrolled in an insurance plan, I've been presented with a long, complicated benefit summary full of industry jargon. That's why I'm happy to share that starting this week, insurers are required under the Affordable Care Act to present every consumer with a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), a document with simple and easy-to-read information on what their plan covers and how much it costs. The SBC is one of the most popular provisions in the Affordable Care Act, and for a very good reason. Cancer patients, survivors, their families and all consumers are now in a far better position to make important decisions about their health coverage. Here's an example of what an SBC document could look like for you. What do you think about it? You'll see it breaks down the information in your plan by what the important questions are and why they matter. Jargon like coinsurance and deductible are defined. Also, services that are not included in your plan are clearly outlined. You should start to see these documents in November, or whenever your open enrollment period begins. As I mentioned in a post earlier this year, ACS CAN volunteers and staff were pleased with the strength of the final SBC rule. The White House received more than 3,000 communications from our dedicated volunteers back in December insisting that consumers need access to comprehensible information to be able to make the most educated decisions they can about their coverage. And ACS CAN CEO John Seffrin participated in a meeting with the White House to ensure the voices of cancer patients were being heard. We're confident these easy-to-understand summaries will empower patients and consumers for the first time to make informed choices about the best health plan for them and their families. *Images retrieved from: http://bit.ly/Q6LgrQ & http://bit.ly/Q6LvDk