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HCR Update: Uniform Coverage Summaries, Student Health Plans

Nov 24, 2010

Health Care Reform Update

November 19, 2010


New fact sheet explains uniform coverage summaries       

The health care reform law requires health insurers and self-funded health plan sponsors/administrators to follow uniform standards for the summary of benefits and coverage. Summaries must also include uniform definitions of standard insurance and medical terms.

HHS will develop the standards by March 2011. The new uniform coverage summaries must be in use no later than March 2012.

Together with an industry trade association, America's Health Insurance Plans, we're working to ensure that the uniform coverage summaries provide meaningful and accurate information for consumers and are feasible for us to administer.

For more details about uniform coverage summaries, including talking points, refer to this fact sheet.



Health care reform and student health plans    

Thousands of college students receive coverage through student health insurance plans. The health care reform law stated that higher education institutions can continue to offer these plans. However, the law did not exempt these plans from any provision, nor did it specify whether these plans should be treated as group or individual health insurance coverage.

On behalf of several education organizations, the American Council on Education has asked the Obama administration to clarify how student health plans should be treated under health care reform. Until the administration clarifies the regulations, we will treat student health plans as individual plans for health care reform compliance. All health care reform requirements for the individual market will apply unless the plan meets the definition of a short-term limited duration policy. Federal regulations define short-term limited duration policies as "health insurance coverage provided pursuant to a contract with an issuer that has an expiration date specified in the contract (taking into account any extensions that may be elected by the policyholder without the issuer's consent) that is less than 12 months after the original effective date of the contract."

For more information, we see this fact sheet.

Getting to the bottom of your health care costs        

Did you know: Peripheral artery disease costs Americans $21 billion a year?

Peripheral artery disease accounts for $21 billion a year in hospitalizations, according to a recent University of Minnesota study funded by Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers-Squibb. Currently, more than 8 million Americans suffer from peripheral artery disease. That number is expected to rise as baby boomers age. The study was published October 2010 in the medical journal Circulation.

This content is provided solely for informational purposes: it is not intended as and does not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein should not be relied upon or used as a substitute for consultation with legal, accounting, tax and/or other professional advisers.

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