NHeLP Comments on HHS 2019 Proposed Rule Change to Benefit and Payment Parameters

Executive Summary

In comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), NHeLP urges the department to reject the proposed changes that would eliminate standardized options, as well as proposed changes to lower the threshold of covered services under Essential Health Benefits (EHBs). The EHB requirement has helped ensure people have access to basic health care services and has closed health care coverage gaps that for decades had left individuals underinsured. Weakening the EHB requirement would do little to forward the mission of HHS and negatively impact the health care of individuals and families who would find themselves with insurance that does little to defray medical costs. For example, prior to the Affordable Care Act’s EHBs requirement, one in five people enrolled in the individual market lacked coverage of prescription drugs, while mental health coverage was often excluded from health plans.

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