ACA ‘Essential Health Benefits’ Vary Across States: New Study

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<p>One of the Affordable Care Act’s signature components is the requirement that insurers offering plans for individuals and small businesses cover 10 categories of “essential” medical services, from hospitalization and prescription drugs to maternity and newborn care.</p><p>In a new Commonwealth Fund issue brief, researchers with the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute report significant variation in how states are defining their essential benefits packages. That’s because the federal government gives states fairly wide discretion to determine the specific benefits they deem essential.</p>
<p>Although this flexibility is welcomed by most insurers and state officials, federal regulators will need to determine whether states’ varying approaches are producing the coverage improvements promised by the health reform law. </p>
<p>Read the brief to learn about the choices states are making, and how those might affect their residents’ quality of coverage.</p> Read the brief