10/19/11. On October 6, 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a consensus report provided to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) entitled “Essential Health Benefits: Balancing Coverage and Cost”. ACHA noted with particular interest the essence of that report which emphasized the importance of finding the right balance between comprehensive health care coverage and cost/affordability as HHS continues the process of determining the essential health benefits coverage package that is mandated by the Affordable Care Act. On behalf of the association’s membership, ACHA President Anita Barkin has submitted comments [pdf] to HHS addressing coverage and cost balancing for college student health plans, essentially embracing the concept and reminding HHS of the unique features of college students and their insurance needs.
We are hopeful that regulations from HHS (not expected until year-end) will incorporate ACHA’s input.