The Obama administration has released the final rule on essential health benefits, which sets the parameters for the types of benefits that must be offered by insurers starting in 2014.
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Essential Health Benefit Rule Made Final
Essential benefit requirements apply to individual and small group plans sold within and outside the new online, state-based exchanges scheduled to launch in 2014. The requirements also apply to benefits provided to those newly eligible for Medicaid coverage. These requirements do not apply to self-insured health plans, which is how most large companies cover their employees (Appleby, 2/20).
The Hill: New Healthcare Rule Expands Benefits For Substance Abuse, Mental Disorders
The Obama administration on Wednesday finalized a key Affordable Care Act rule predicted to expand substance abuse and mental disorder benefits to 62 million Americans. The rule, to take effect next year, lays out new "essential health benefits" standards for insurers, as required by the landmark legislation. It was designed to allow consumers a simplified and consistent way to shop for, and enroll in, healthcare plans that best suit them (Goad, 2/20).