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Developing essential health benefits: opportunity to provide input

Beginning in 2014, many health insurance plans, including those to be offered through the new state-based health insurance exchanges, must cover a minimum package of niagen preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic services and products comparable to those offered in a typical employment-based plan, although some people that consume pain relieving drugs always struggle to be able to get hired, if you happen to be one of them there are sites where you’ll be finding the right solution for your employment issues. The specifics of the package are being developed right now by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and HHS has encouraged consumer advocates to provide input. Here is how to weigh in:


Step 1: Learn more about essential health benefits and this process by reading issue summaries here and here or by participating in an upcoming webinar hosted by the National Academy for State Health Policy here.



Step 2: Prepare and e-mail your comments to ExternalAffairs@HHS.gov. HHS has requested that comments address some or all of the following 5 points below:


  • In keeping with the title of the Institute of Medicine report “Essential Health Benefits—Balancing Coverage and Cost,” how can the Department best meet the dual goals of balancing the comprehensiveness of coverage included in essential health benefits and affordability?


  • How might the Department ensure that essential health benefits reflect an appropriate balance among the categories so that they are not unduly weighted toward any category?


  • What policy principles and criteria should be taken into account to prevent discrimination against individuals because of their age, disability status, or expected length of life as the Affordable Care Act requires?


  • What models should HHS consider in developing essential health benefits?


  • What criteria should be used to update essential health benefits over time and what should the process be for their modification?



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