Labor Dept. Delays Summary of Health Care Benefits and Requirements

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that the Summary of Benefits Coverage (SBC) will not be required by March 23, 2012, as originally stated in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

A new deadline has not yet been announced. And the DOL has not shared the target time frame for the final regulations.

You may remember that the ACA mandated a standardized four-page summary of each plan offering. Last summer, we were calling it the summary of medical coverage or a uniform explanation of coverage.

Lots of comments to the DOL

We had lots of questions when reviewing the final law but appreciated from the start that this new tool could really benefit Americans. This would be the first time Americans would have a standard way to compare the provisions of employer plans as well as those on the individual market.

When the proposed regulations were issued in August for public feedback, we shared with you our No. 1 frustration with the proposed regulations for the Summary of Benefits Coverage. Happily, many of you agreed with us and submitted feedback to the DOL to standardize the out-of-pocket maximum definition.

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It appears there were lots of comments during the public commenting period that the DOL plans to incorporate into final regulations. A hopeful statement, indeed. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for all Americans that our feedback will be, too.

Stay tuned here for further developments.

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