The Kansas Insurance Department says a Blue Cross plan should set the standard for essential health benefits for all individual and small group health plans sold on the coming exchange in Kansas.
The decision is up to Governor Sam Brownback. He vows to take no action to implement the Affordable Care Act until after the November election. However, the plan recommended by the Insurance Department is the same one federal officials will choose if Brownback refuses to choose. But Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger says the governor would be giving up the power to decide how to add children’s dental and vision benefits to the plan.
“The obvious solution there is to adopt the Children’s Health Insurance Plan, the Healthwave Plan,” says Praeger. “As kids move from Medicaid eligibility into some of these subsidized private insurance products, you want to minimize disruption.”
Federal officials could mandate a richer and more expensive set of dental, vision, and so-called habilitative benefits. Those have to be included to meet the federal health care law’s essential health benefits requirement for plans sold on the standardized marketplace known as the exchange.
This story is part of a reporting partnership that includes KCUR /KPR, NPR and Kaiser Health News.
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