The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act sets in place a number of requirements for private insurers to advertise and represent their individual and small-group plans in a clear and consistent fashion such that consumers can better understand the product they are purchasing. This information will be available online and make the process of identifying an appropriate and affordable plan far simpler for consumers.
The creation of a simple web portal will enable consumers to determine the key information in choosing the insurance plan with the best combination of price and service. Making certain information transparent—including the proportion of policies that the insurer rescinds, percent of claims denied, and number and result of appeals—will add to consumers’ understanding of the actual quality of a particular plan. Establishing standardized requirements for representing benefits, coverage, and costs to consumers will help individuals make direct comparisons between health insurance products and, like the establishment of online portals, force insurers to compete directly on price and quality.
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