Chris Hansen, ACS CAN President

ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse shares her views on the impact of advocacy on the cancer fight.

Share

Understanding Your Health Benefits

September 25, 2012

Like many of you, I find health insurance benefits to be difficult to interpret. Every time IŠ—'ve enrolled in an insurance plan, IŠ—'ve been presented with a long, complicated benefit summary full of industry jargon. ThatŠ—'s why IŠ—'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. HereŠ—'s an example of what an SBC document could look like for you. What do you think about it? YouŠ—'ll see it breaks down the information in your plan by what the important questions are and why they matter. Jargon like Š—“coinsuranceŠ— and Š—“deductibleŠ— 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. WeŠ—'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