Friday, March 1, 2013

Sen. Rockefeller touts benefits of plain language in health-care law | Paul J. Nyden, The Charleston Gazette, West Virginia

Here's good news about the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, for people who believe clear, concise communication can save money and lives. Nyden writes:
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., wants health insurance providers to give consumers "clear and concise information" to help them decide what health insurance policy they should purchase. ... 
Rockefeller championed a provision in the Affordable Care Act called the "Summary of Benefits and Coverage" provision. ...
Rockefeller made sure the new health-care law contains a "clear labeling" provision, requiring insurance companies to provide their customers with documents "written in clear language and in a font [type size and style] consumers can easily read." 
Rockefeller, chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, said during a committee hearing on Wednesday:
Shopping for health insurance has habitually been confusing, exasperating and stressful. ... Prior to this provision in health reform, consumers had no easy way to learn about or compare different policies -- and when they asked for more information about the plans, they usually got bulky documents written in legal jargon and small print -- and sometimes they only got that after they purchased a plan.
Nyden writes:
Under the new law, health-insurance companies are required to offer potential consumers "easy-to-understand" descriptions of what benefits their policies offer, including costs and exactly what health services will be covered.
For more information on plain language, visit Garbl's Plain English Writing GuideIt describes a seven-step approach to writing clearly and concisely to meet the needs of your readers. 
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Nyden's article is featured today in Garbl's Plain English Paragraphs, available at the Plain Language tab above and by free email subscription.

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