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Choosing a Health Insurance Plan?

Consumer Alert

Choosing a Health Insurance Plan?

You should take advantage of a new consumer benefit to help you compare health insurance plans. Beginning September 23, 2012, all private insurers must describe their health policies in a same way. Here’s an example of the first page of this description, so you know what to look for.

You have a right to this information which will help you shop for health insurance. Be sure to ask your insurer or employer for it. On the form you’ll find: 


  1. Definitions of key insurance terms such as deductible and out-of-pocket limit.
  2. Plan details in the same place on every form, so you can line up forms and compare plans.
  3.  A list of the services the health insurance plan doesn’t cover.
  4. A new way to explain how the plan covers certain medical situations; look for Coverage Examples

You won’t see this form if you shop for Medicare (coverage for seniors and people with disabilities), military coverage (like TRICARE or Veterans) or state Medicaid and CHIP programs.  These insurers don’t have to provide it.

Questions? Contact [insert state insurance consumer assistance office] . You can also see a handy guide to the form at consumerreports.org/SBCinfo .

Ideas for improving this form? Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, is collecting consumer feedback on the form. Go to www.SBCFeedback.org to tell them what you think about the form you receive. Your views will help to improve the form in the future.