HHS seeks comment on essential payor benchmarks

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a proposed rule to establish data collection standards to implement aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

Beginning in 2014, all non-grandfathered health plans in the individual and small group market, Medicaid benchmark and benchmark-equivalent plans, and basic health programs, where applicable, will cover the essential health benefits, as defined by the HHS secretary. 

Published in the Federal Register June 5, the purpose of this proposed rule is to collect sufficient information on potential benchmark plans' benefits to enable plans seeking to offer coverage in the individual or small group market in 2014 to know what benefits will be included in the essential health benefits benchmark. 

The rule outlines the data on applicable plans to be collected from certain issuers to support the definition of essential health benefits. It also proposes to define “health benefits” and “benefits for medical care that may be delivered through the purchase of insurance or otherwise.”

Comments on the proposed rule will be collected until July 4.