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DOL Report Flunks a Major Test

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, May 4, 2011

In its short life, the report, which was released April 15th, has collected its share of criticism. Trade groups and lobbyist have termed it "irrelevant" and "minimalist." There are complaints that the information is skewed toward the benefits offered by large employers and has little application to small employers and individuals.

In the DOL's defense I'll say that anyone who has ever tried to decipher their own health benefits plan knows that the documents are often less than clear. But you know what I do when I'm confused by my benefits? I pick up the phone and ask the benefits manager.

The DOL was charged with identifying benefits that are typically covered. It's an important piece of the healthcare puzzle and could affect coverage for years to come. Who knows, lives may even depend on the benefits selected.

Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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