Several group benefits providers, including Sun Life Financial, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and Cigna, have won plain language awards from the Center for Plain Language.

The ClearMark awards recognize the best in plain language each year in both the private and public sectors. The awards are judged by a panel of experts appointed by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Plain Language.

"As voluntary group benefits gain popularity, we’ve committed to providing plan sponsors best-in-class communications tools to help employees choose the most suitable benefits options, given their needs,” says Tricia Conboy, Sun Life's group employee benefits marketing director. Sun Life won for its personalized group enrollment kit, an educational booklet on voluntary benefits.

“I think they’re ahead of the curve in that they’re using plain language even before they’re required legally to do so,” says Deborah Bosley of Sun Life's efforts. Bosley sits on the board of the Center for Plain Language. “Citibank did the same thing in the 1970s. No one had required it, but they decided to rewrite many of their smaller contract loans in plain language.”

Aetna, meanwhile, won a ClearMark award for its Aetna Benefits Advisor website, as well as for its plain language ads. UnitedHealthcare won for its “Medicare Made Clear” guide, and Cigna won for its explanation-of-benefits document.

To view the winning entries, click here and look for the June 1 issue of EBN for an extended interview with plain language expert Deborah Bosley.

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