‘Essential Benefits’ and Health Reform

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Great article in the New York Times on the Essential Benefits component of the health care reform law. Check back frequently for updates on  what will ultimately be included in the Essential Benefits package, especially as it relates to children's mental health.

From the article...
The Obama administration surprised supporters and critics when it decided to let states define the “essential health benefits” that must be provided to their citizens under health care reform. The move could lessen opposition in Republican-led states and increase the chances that they will move ahead on building new health insurance exchanges to comply with the reform law.

The impact on most consumers may be minimal. Even the most fiercely antiregulation states will not be free to approve extremely miserly policies, because they will have to be comparable to popular and fairly comprehensive “benchmark” private plans. There are concerns that insurance company lobbyists — who are even more powerful in many states than in Washington — will find ways to shape requirements to favor their bottom lines rather than consumers. In the longer run, it would be better to set a national standard. That would also be easier for federal regulators to monitor...

read the full story here...

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