Plain writing

The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires federal agencies to write "clear Government communication that the public can understand and use." President Obama also emphasized the importance of establishing "a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration" in his January 21, 2009, Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government.

We, at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), are committed to writing new documents in plain language by October 2011, using the Federal Plain Language Guidelines.

CMS is committed to plain writing

We're training our employees and have strengthened our oversight process.We must use plain language in any document that:

  • Is necessary for obtaining any federal government benefit or service or filing taxes
  • Provides information about any federal government benefit or service
  • Explains to the public how to comply with a requirement that the federal government administers or enforces

Help us comply with the Plain Writing Act

We need your help to comply with this Act. Let us know if you have trouble understanding our documents or the pages on our website.

We've assigned staff to oversee our plain language efforts:

  • Heather Holland, Plain Language Contact
  • Erin Gordon, Plain Language Coordinator
  • Cate Kortzeborn, Plain Language Coordinator (Regional Offices)