In Sunday’s edition of the New York Times, blogger Maggie Mahar responded briefly to the question, “What would the future hold if the Supreme Court strikes down the most controversial part of the health care law, the individual mandate?” We asked Mahar to elaborate on the question in this post.
After writing about “Essential Health Benefits” for HealthBeat, I wrote a shorter post for Time.com (the online version of Time magazine), updating what I had written here.
This month, the public will have a chance to weigh in how they think “essential” should be defined. See below for a link to places, times, and dates where “listening sessions” will be held in cities across the nation, as well as information on how to register. Time is of the essence. Insurers are calling for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to spell out the essential benefits that must be included in all policies sold to individuals and small employers by the end of December.
At the end of the excerpt below, I comment on how both tax credits and the state-based Purchasing Exchanges will make insurance more affordable for small employers and individuals who are buying their own policies.
Often, I refer to the health care reform bill that President Obama signed into law in March of 2010 as “the Affordable Care Act” or ACA. Friday, as I read the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) report on the “Essential Health Benefits” (EHB) that private insurers will be required to cover under reform, I resolved never to make that mistake again.