A coalition of business groups, health plans and healthcare providers is urging HHS to follow private-sector approaches as the department develops a final rule on the essential health benefits that individual and small-group plans must cover as part of the 2010 healthcare reform law.
The Essential Health Benefits Coalition, whose membership includes the National Retail Federation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, America's Health Insurance Plans, the American Osteopathic Association and the Pharmacy Care Management Association, submitted a list last month of six recommendations to HHS in response to the department's November proposed rule on essential health benefits.
At a news conference Wednesday in Washington, Neil Trautwein, the coalition's chairman, stressed affordability and said a major concern for the group is that the final essential health benefits rule does not put the cost of coverage beyond the reach of the nation's small businesses.
“We think the administration in its final rule should focus on allowing more private-sector strategies to achieve greater benefit value and affordability and again avoid including benefits that are not commonly offered today,” said Trautwein, who serves as vice president and employee benefits policy counsel at the National Retail Federation. “If they're not commonly offered today, there's a reason and a rationale why they're not offered.”