HHS Issues Bulletin on State Implementation of Healthcare Reform
On December 16, 2011 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a bulletin outlining proposed policies on how states will implement aspects of healthcare reform, also known as the Affordable Care Act. This important Federal legislation is designed to ensure that all Americans will have access to quality, affordable health insurance. Some provisions of the legislation have already taken effect and the rest are scheduled to be in place by 2014. The new bulletin addresses the issue of what states will need to do to ensure that insurance plans that will be offered to consumers and small business will cover “essential health benefits.” HHS had already established a list of broad essential benefit categories which include prescription drugs, physician services, emergency services, mental health services, chronic disease management and a number of others.