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Early Consumer Testing of New Health Insurance Disclosure Forms

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) calls for health insurers to begin using a new, standard health insurance disclosure form to convey the benefits and cost-sharing provisions of their health plan offerings. This form must employ standard terms and definitions and is intended to all consumers to “compare health insurance coverage and understand the terms of coverage (or exceptions to that coverage).” The ACA requires all insurance plans to use this form – group and non-group, grandfathered and non-grandfathered – beginning in 2012. As such, these disclosures will affect over 180 million insured Americans when the requirement goes into effect. This Consumers Union study explores whether early prototypes for this Summary of Coverage form meet the needs of consumers. Specifically, do study respondents find the form appealing, does the form provide the information that respondents are looking for and is it a usable document?