KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Patient Advocates Seek More Time To Weigh In On Essential Benefit Rules

A group of 75 patient organizations has asked the Department of Health and Human Services to extend the comment period, which now has a Jan. 31 deadline, until March 15. They note that the design of "essential benefits" will impact the entire health system and an estimated 70 million patients.

The Hill's Healthwatch: Patient Groups Seek Delay On 'Essential Benefit' Rules
A group of 75 patient organizations asked the Health and Human Services Department to allow more time for public comment on its proposal for defining "essential health benefits." The health care law directs HHS to define a package of essential benefits that all insurance plans will have to cover beginning in 2014 (Baker, 1/11).

CQ HealthBeat: Patient Groups Push For More Time For Comment On Essential Health Benefits
Patient advocacy groups on Wednesday asked the Department of Health and Human Services to extend the deadline for public comment on an essential health benefits bulletin issued in December. The 75 groups sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius saying that the Jan. 31 deadline is too soon and they'd like to see it extended to March 15. They say in their letter that the design of essential health benefits in the health care law will have an impact on more than 70 million patients and the entire health system (Norman, 1/11).

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