A proposed update of the health plan summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) standards could include an update of the SBC’s little brother: the uniform glossary.
Drafters of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) tried to help consumers and employers shop for health plans on an apples-to-apples basis by requiring major medical plans to provide SBCs — “nutrition labels for health plans.”
PPACA drafters required the same plans to provide a standardized uniform glossary of health care and health insurance terms to help consumers understand and use their health coverage.
The version of the uniform glossary now in use takes up three pages and defines terms such as “premium,” “specialist” and “preferred provider.’ A diagram on a fourth page shows how deductibles, coinsurance percentages and out-of-pocket limits work.
A draft of a new version would include a page for the out-of-pocket cost diagram and five pages of definitions.
Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) developed the glossary revision draft with help from officials at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).