House bill requires insurance companies to disclose limits to consumers

Yesterday, the House passed HR 1253, the Health Insurance Restrictions and Limitations Clarification Act of 2009, which requires insurance companies to fully disclose policy limitations to prospective enrollees.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), is aimed at making the terms and conditions of health insurance policies, particularly coverage restrictions, explicit and clear to consumers so that they can make informed purchasing decisions. 

"Many consumers or employers shopping for healthcare coverage are led to believe that care for a broken arm, for example, is the same regardless of how the injury happened, but that is not the case," Burgess said. 

The bill states that "[policy] limitations or restrictions are explicit and clear...and in writing in advance of the point of sale...The plan sponsor provides a description of such limitations and restrictions to participants and beneficiaries in a form that is easily understandable before enrollment." 

The bill passed with an overwhelming vote of 422 to three. 

For more information about the bill:
- check out this Modern Healthcare article
- here's the full text of the bill