You probably missed it because of the media's focus on the fiscal cliff, but a provision of ObamaCare took effect on January 1 that can help you avoid making costly mistakes when you sign up for health insurance. At the very least you'll be able to understand what you're actually signing up for.
From now on, health insurers will have to provide us with information in plain English, and in no more than four pages, about what their policies cover and how much we'll have to pay out of our own pockets when we get sick. And they'll have to provide it in a standard format that will enable us to make apples-to-apples comparisons among health plans.
As you can imagine, insurers fought hard to kill that part of the law. That's because they've profited for years by using legalese and gobbledygook in describing their policies, and also by purposely withholding information we really need to make informed coverage decisions.
Now at long last, thanks to ObamaCare, you can say goodbye and good riddance to "explanations" like this one:
Benefits are payable for Covered Medical Expenses (see "Definitions'') less any Deductible incurred by or for a Covered Person for loss due to Injury or Sickness subject to: (a) the Maximum Benefit for all services; (b) the maximum amount for specific services; both as set forth in the Schedule of Benefits; and (c) any coinsurance amount set forth in the Schedule of Benefits or any endorsement hereto. The total payable for all Covered Medical Expenses shall never exceed the Maximum Benefit stated in the Schedule of Benefits. Read the "Definitions'' section and the "Exclusions and Limitations'' section carefully.
Yes, that's from an actual policy the folks at Consumers Union found during research they did a few years ago into the consequences to patients of indecipherable policy descriptions.
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