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HHS to give states more flexibility to implement health reform

16-Dec-2011 The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today released a bulletin outlining proposed policies that will give states more flexibility and freedom to implement the Affordable Care Act. 

The Affordable Care Act ensures all Americans have access to quality, affordable health insurance.  To achieve this goal, the law ensures that health insurance plans offered in the individual and small group markets, both inside and outside of the Affordable Insurance Exchanges (Exchanges), offer a comprehensive package of items and services, known as “essential health benefits.”

The bulletin released today describes an inclusive, affordable and flexible proposal and informs stakeholders about the approach that HHS intends to pursue in rulemaking to define essential health benefits.  HHS is releasing this intended approach to give consumers, states, employers and issuers timely information as they work toward establishing Exchanges and making decisions for 2014.  This approach was developed with significant input from the public, as well as reports from the Department of Labor, the Institute of Medicine, and research conducted by HHS.

“Under the Affordable Care Act, consumers and small businesses can be confident that the insurance plans they choose and purchase will cover a comprehensive and affordable set of health services,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  “Our approach will protect consumers and give states the flexibility to design coverage options that meet their unique needs.” 

Go here to see the full release.


 
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