States Should Consider Highest-Cost Patients When Developing Essential Benefits Package
That recommendation comes from a report issued Tuesday by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, which concluded that those under age 65 have very different health spending habits than Medicare beneficiaries. Meanwhile, experts offer advice to states regarding development of essential benefits packages.
Los Angeles Times: States Should Study Spending Before Picking Benefits, Report Says
California and other states should consider the medical care used by the highest-cost patients who battle cancer and other chronic conditions when setting essential benefits under federal reform, according to a study. The report issued Tuesday by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics found that the under-65 population, which will be affected the most by the federal healthcare overhaul, has very different medical spending patterns than Medicare beneficiaries that policymakers should take into account as they prepare to extend coverage to millions of the uninsured (Terhune, 2/28).
Modern Healthcare: Experts Suggest Priorities For Essential Benefits
Ensuring transparency in benefit design and paying close attention to benefit administration should be among the top priorities of healthcare advocates working on the development of essential health benefits packages, a panel of experts said in Washington. Essential health benefits were the topic of discussion at the National Forum on the Future of Healthcare, an event hosted by the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network (Zigmond, 2/28).
CQ HealthBeat: State Insurance Commissioners: Essential Benefits May Be More Uniform Over Time
Two state insurance commissioners Tuesday said despite the latitude the Obama administration is giving states in developing initial essential health benefits, they expect eventually the packages will be more uniform throughout the country. Kansas Commissioner of Insurance Sandy Praeger and Rhode Island Health Insurance Commissioner Christopher Koller praised the administration for giving states flexibility in prescribing benefits for individual and small group plans that will be sold through health insurance exchanges. Department of Health and Human Services officials have said that in 2016 they will re-evaluate the process for putting together the benefits packages (Norman, 2/28).