New report on Essential Health Benefits for children
As state governments start to put the health reform law into action, they’re beginning to create “exchanges,” or new marketplaces for health plans. An important step is deciding the minimum set of services a health plan can offer — the exchanges won’t offer junk insurance plans that cover only some forms of care.
A new report from our friends at the American Academy of Pediatrics shows how important it is for states to choose a good set of minimum services for children. These “Essential Health Benefits” will be the standard of care, and we need to make sure it provides everything children need. Child advocates agree that the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides comprehensive care for millions of children, should be the model, and the report’s findings agree.
“This report confirms that many existing health insurance plans put families at financial risk through high deductibles and significant cost-sharing,” says our President and CEO Bill Bentley. “When setting state benchmarks and defining their cost-sharing features, both HHS and states must ensure affordable access to care for children and their caregivers by taking the appropriate measures to reduce the risk of medical debt to families. As a result, we encourage states to use their CHIP plans as a benchmark.”