On Wednesday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Department of the Treasury issued a proposed rule requiring health insurers and group plans to provide consumers an understandable Summary of Benefits and Coverage and a uniform glossary of terms that are used commonly in the health insurance industry, such as "deductible" and "co-pay." This information must be provided upon consumer request or before an individual purchases coverage. If the Summary of Benefits and Coverage and the Uniform Glossary proposed rule become final, the effective date by which this information must be provided is March 23, 2012.
HHS, DOL, and Department of the Treasury also proposed a template of the Summary of Benefits and Coverage document (available on page 25). Comments are due on or around October 21.