HHS releases rule on insurance Web portal

Web portal to offer insurance coverage options

The Health and Human Services Department wants advice on creating a Web portal to offer information allowing consumers to compare health care insurance coverage options, a feature of the health reform law.

HHS released a copy of its interim final rule for the Health Care Reform Insurance Web Portal Requirements. The rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on May 5, and public comments are due in 30 days.

The interim final rule describes the categories of information that will be collected and displayed on the portal. The data will be collected from states, associations and high-risk insurance pools, the notice said.

The goal is to offer consumers a Web resource with standardized formats of information, the notice states. Standardized data to allow people to compare insurance coverage plans “would empower consumers by increasing informed choice and promoting market competition,” the interim rule states.

“We intend to provide a Web portal that provides information to consumers in a clear, salient, and easily navigated manner," the notice states. "We plan to minimize the use of technical language, jargon, or excessive complexity in order to promote the ability of consumers to understand the information and act in accordance with what they have learned."

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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