2015 ORS 743.106¹
Reading ease standards for life and health insurance policies

(1) No policy form shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this state unless:

(a) The policy text achieves a score of 40 or more on the Flesch reading ease test, or an equivalent score on any comparable test as provided in subsection (3) of this section;

(b) The policy, except for specification pages, schedules and tables is printed in not less than 10-point type, one point leaded;

(c) The style, arrangement and overall appearance of the policy give no undue prominence to any portion of the text, including the text of any indorsements or riders; and

(d) The policy contains a table of contents or an index of the principal sections of the policy, if the policy has more than 3,000 words of text printed on three or less pages, or regardless of the number of words if the policy has more than three pages.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a Flesch reading ease test score shall be calculated as follows:

(a) For policy forms containing 10,000 words or less of text, the entire form shall be analyzed. For policy forms containing more than 10,000 words, two 200-word samples per page may be analyzed instead of the entire form. The samples shall be separated by at least 20 printed lines.

(b) The number of words and sentences in the text shall be counted and the total number of words divided by the total number of sentences. The figure obtained shall be multiplied by a factor of 1.015.

(c) The total number of syllables in the text shall be counted and divided by the total number of words. The figure obtained shall be multiplied by a factor of 84.6.

(d) The sum of the figures computed under paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subsection subtracted from 206.835 equals the Flesch reading ease test score for the policy form.

(e) For purposes of paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subsection, the following procedures shall be used:

(A) A contraction, hyphenated word or numbers and letters, when separated by spaces, shall be counted as one word.

(B) A unit of words ending with a period, semicolon or colon shall be counted as a sentence.

(C) A "syllable" means a unit of spoken language consisting of one or more letters of a word as divided by an accepted dictionary. If the dictionary shows two or more equally acceptable pronunciations of a word, the pronunciation containing fewer syllables may be used.

(f) As used in this section, "text" includes all written matter except the following:

(A) The name and address of the insurer; the name, number or title of the policy; the table of contents or index; captions and subcaptions; specification pages; schedules or tables; and

(B) Policy language drafted to conform to the requirements of any state or federal law, regulation or agency interpretation; policy language required by any collectively bargained agreement; medical terminology; and words that are defined in the policy. However, the insurer shall identify the language or terminology excepted by this subparagraph and shall certify in writing that the language or terminology is entitled to be excepted by this subparagraph.

(3) Any other reading test may be approved by the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services as an alternative to the Flesch reading ease test if it is comparable in result to the Flesch reading ease test.

(4) Each policy filing shall be accompanied by a certificate signed by an officer of the insurer stating that the policy meets the minimum required reading ease score on the test used, or stating that the score is lower than the minimum required but should be authorized in accordance with ORS 743.107 (When director may authorize lower standards). To confirm the accuracy of a certification, the director may require the submission of further information.

(5) At the option of the insurer, riders, indorsements, applications and other forms made a part of the policy may be scored as separate forms or as part of the policy with which they may be used. [Formerly 743.365]

Note: The amendments to 743.106 (Reading ease standards for life and health insurance policies) by section 5, chapter 515, Oregon Laws 2015, apply to health benefit plans issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2017. See section 33, chapter 515, Oregon Laws 2015. The text that applies to health benefit plans issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2017, is set forth for the user’s convenience.

743.106 (Reading ease standards for life and health insurance policies). (1) No policy form shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this state unless:

(a) The policy text achieves a score of 40 or more on the Flesch reading ease test, or an equivalent score on any comparable test as provided in subsection (3) of this section;

(b) The policy, except for specification pages, schedules and tables is printed in not less than 12-point type, 13-point leading for health benefit plans, as defined in ORS 743B.005 (Definitions), and 10-point type, 11-point leading for all other policies;

(c) The style, arrangement and overall appearance of the policy give no undue prominence to any portion of the text, including the text of any indorsements or riders; and

(d) The policy contains a table of contents or an index of the principal sections of the policy, if the policy has more than 3,000 words of text printed on three or less pages, or regardless of the number of words if the policy has more than three pages.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a Flesch reading ease test score shall be calculated as follows:

(a) For policy forms containing 10,000 words or less of text, the entire form shall be analyzed. For policy forms containing more than 10,000 words, two 200-word samples per page may be analyzed instead of the entire form. The samples shall be separated by at least 20 printed lines.

(b) The number of words and sentences in the text shall be counted and the total number of words divided by the total number of sentences. The figure obtained shall be multiplied by a factor of 1.015.

(c) The total number of syllables in the text shall be counted and divided by the total number of words. The figure obtained shall be multiplied by a factor of 84.6.

(d) The sum of the figures computed under paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subsection subtracted from 206.835 equals the Flesch reading ease test score for the policy form.

(e) For purposes of paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subsection, the following procedures shall be used:

(A) A contraction, hyphenated word or numbers and letters, when separated by spaces, shall be counted as one word.

(B) A unit of words ending with a period, semicolon or colon shall be counted as a sentence.

(C) A "syllable" means a unit of spoken language consisting of one or more letters of a word as divided by an accepted dictionary. If the dictionary shows two or more equally acceptable pronunciations of a word, the pronunciation containing fewer syllables may be used.

(f) As used in this section, "text" includes all written matter except the following:

(A) The name and address of the insurer; the name, number or title of the policy; the table of contents or index; captions and subcaptions; specification pages; schedules or tables; and

(B) Policy language drafted to conform to the requirements of any state or federal law, regulation or agency interpretation; policy language required by any collectively bargained agreement; medical terminology; and words that are defined in the policy. However, the insurer shall identify the language or terminology excepted by this subparagraph and shall certify in writing that the language or terminology is entitled to be excepted by this subparagraph.

(3) Any other reading test may be approved by the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services as an alternative to the Flesch reading ease test if it is comparable in result to the Flesch reading ease test.

(4) Each policy filing shall be accompanied by a certificate signed by an officer of the insurer stating that the policy meets the minimum required reading ease score on the test used, or stating that the score is lower than the minimum required but should be authorized in accordance with ORS 743.107 (When director may authorize lower standards). To confirm the accuracy of a certification, the director may require the submission of further information.

(5) At the option of the insurer, riders, indorsements, applications and other forms made a part of the policy may be scored as separate forms or as part of the policy with which they may be used.


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 743—Health and Life Insurance, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors743.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 743, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano743.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.