Minimum essential health benefits will be largely set by states

The Obama administration will give states broad latitude to define the minimum benefits that many health insurance policies will be required to offer under the 2010 health-care law, officials announced Friday.

The plan sparked criticism from interest groups on all sides of the issue. Consumer advocates worried that millions of Americans could end up with insurance substantially less comprehensive than the law’s drafters intended. Representatives of employers and insurers warned of an opposite scenario: A state could make the benefits package so comprehensive that the resulting plans would be prohibitively expensive.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Economy, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, State Government, The U.S. Government

One comment on “Minimum essential health benefits will be largely set by states

  1. Teatime2 says:

    OK, this is an issue concerning which I think that Rick Perry’s media smear as being stupid is regrettable. He has actually done a LOT to better use Medicaid funds in serving more people. I read an article last week in which he received bipartisan positive reviews for his state-centered vision of Medicaid and health coverage.

    With federal permission, Perry has expanded Medicaid access for the working disabled and those on the margins through buy-in programs and managed care initiatives. He has also encouraged private entities to build clinics to serve the poor. We have a few of those in my area and people have called them a godsend. They take care of everyone, regardless of insurance and ability to pay, and charge affordable prices. Some physicians have complained about the “competition” but I don’t know how they can call it that when they chose to close their practices to Medicaid/Medicare patients. How can they now complain when a clinic moves in and WILL serve them?

    Personally, I have been approved for a new policy by a Texas HMO that serves Medicare patients and also provides Medicaid backup. I guess I’m one of the crazy folks who don’t mind HMOs and I actually appreciate the oversight. This is a special HMO for folks with serious health issues and provides comprehensive case management, including a nurse in the community who is assigned to you and available at all times for consultation and questions. You don’t HAVE to use the service but they are making it available. I have no doubt that oversight and case management can lower costs. But I’ve also been impressed by how quickly this HMO will authorize out-of-network care. My cardiologist is arranging for me to be seen and treated at Baylor’s heart hospital in Dallas and the HMO approved it in a matter of days.

    I think this is the future and Perry is preparing Texas for it quite well. He is doing more with federal money provided and utilizing both private and public health/insurance resources. It’s a shame that this isn’t being discussed much because it’s big. Perry can’t take all of the credit, of course, but he really is more of a “let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work” governor than the public knows. His help and coordination during the Hurricane Katrina mess were impressive, too. I’m not saying that Perry would be an awesome president because I really don’t know. But I don’t think he gets enough credit for being a good problem-solver.