Today, consumers face a bewildering health insurance marketplace, especially if they buy insurance on their own. Americans find it all but impossible to compare health insurance policies on an “apples-to-apples” basis because the policies are written in legalese and the terms of coverage are so varied. As lawmakers consider comprehensive healthcare reform, they have an opportunity to fix the way we shop for health insurance. This brief recommends new, consumer-friendly rules for the health insurance marketplace. These rules require clear and consistent definitions of insurance terms, standardized health plan provisions, new health plan disclosure forms, unbiased enrollment assistance and rigorous enforcement at the state and national levels.

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