President Barack Obama's healthcare law mandated that certain health plans start covering common services. But because the federal government offered states latitude in those initial determinations, the definition of an essential health benefit ranges widely across the country, a report finds.
For example, a person with an Obamacare plan in Illinois can receive coverage for nutrition counseling, hearing aids and infertility treatments. However, someone in neighboring Indiana doesn't have any of those in his or her standard plan.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires plans sold in the individual and small-group markets to cover 10 essential health benefits, from emergency room services to hospitalization to prescription drugs. However, in 2013, HHS finalized a rule that said for the time being, states have the ability to define essential health benefits by picking an existing package already offered by a health plan in the state.