HHS proposes changes to O-Care benefit summaries

Federal officials are proposing to make the benefit summaries required for health plans on ObamaCare's marketplaces more user-friendly.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced plans to streamline the documents while adding new information that will help consumers better understand cost-sharing.


The changes follow tests that indicate what information matters most to consumers as they shop for health insurance, the proposal stated.

"Our goal is to improve consumers’ access to concise and comparable health plan information to help them better understand their coverage options and make informed choices when shopping for a plan," said Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner in a statement.

Tavenner said the changes would enhance clarity. In one example, the summaries will now list how a plan's cost-sharing terms apply in an emergency medical situation, in addition to pregnancy and managing diabetes.

If finalized, the proposal would be implemented on or after Sept. 1, 2015.