Consumer Reports Calls for Transparency in Health Insurance

Consumer Reports' story "Hazardous Health Plans" (May 2009) revealed the effects of what must be called deceptive health insurance plan descriptions. Coverage gaps big enough to drive truck through (my insensitive wording) caused CR to term such plans "junk insurance." Perhaps surprisingly, some of these junk plans are still offered by major firms such as Aetna ("Affordable Health Choices"). After reciting several harrowing stories, CR offers its own list of recommendations for lawmakers. It comes as no surprise to the Wonk that one recommendation calls for enhanced policy transparency. In some states, consumers are not able to examine the details of policies they purchase until after they have joined. If they change their minds after seeing the details, CR observes, consumers run the risk of going without coverage.

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