What States Are Doing to Implement the "Essential Health Benefit" for Insurance Plans

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<p>Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia have selected the health insurance plan in their state that will serve as the "essential health benefit" package sold by all insurers participating in the new insurance exchanges, or marketplaces, and the individual and small-group markets beginning January 2014, according to a <a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2013/mar/implementing-affordable-care-act-choosing-essential-health">Commonwealth Fund study</a> released today. </p><p>Designed to improve the comprehensiveness of health coverage, the essential health benefit covers 10 broad service categories, including ambulatory patient care, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, and prescription drugs. The federal government allowed each state to choose a benchmark plan, within certain guidelines, to help meet the Affordable Care Act requirement that the essential health benefit reflect a typical employer health insurance plan. </p>
<p>The study, by Sabrina Corlette and colleagues at Georgetown University, reviews states' progress in selecting these benchmark plans between January 1, 2012, and October 15, 2012. </p>
<p>Visit <a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2013/mar/implementing-affordable-care-act-choosing-essential-health">commonwealthfund.org</a> to learn more. </p>