(Reuters) – U.S. health officials will allow states to select the basic set of medical benefits that must be offered by insurance plans participating in new exchanges mandated by the federal healthcare overhaul, the U.S. government said on Friday.
The Department of Health and Human Services announcement relates to the so-called essential health benefits for millions of Americans expected to qualify for coverage sold through state-based insurance exchanges beginning in 2014.
The proposed approach reflects the federal government’s commitment to give states flexibility as they set up the exchanges, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Friday.
“The coverage that works in Florida may not work in Nebraska,” Sebelius told reporters on a conference call.
Under the approach announced on Friday, states can select an existing health plan to set the benchmark for services included in the essential health benefits package.