ACA Facts: Easy to Understand Summaries of Coverage

January 2, 2013

Summary of Benefits and Coverage

The ACA will make health care plans more transparent for all Americans; requiring health insurers to provide clear and consistent information about benefits and coverage.  Under the current system, shopping for the right health care plan is often difficult and time-consuming due to non-uniform and complex "summaries" of benefits.   As a result, consumers are unable to conduct side by side comparisons and choose the plan that would work best for them.  To make health care plans more accessible, the news rules require that health insurance providers make available to each consumer (1) a "Summary of Benefits and Coverage" (SBC) - a concise document detailing in plain language simple and consistent information about health plans, and (2) a uniform glossary which will define common terms used in the health plans.   To guarantee accessibility to as many consumers as possible, the glossary will also be available online.