HHS releases final rule implementing key provisions of the Affordable Care Act

Last week, the final rule was released describing essential health benefits that plans will need to cover when the health insurance exchanges begin in 2014. The law outlines 10 broad categories of care, including emergency services, maternity care, hospital and doctors’ services, rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, mental health and substance abuse care and prescription drugs. The Arc and other advocates had urged HHS to better define what is included in the categories and what would be a sufficient benefit. The final rules do not vary greatly from the proposed rules and give states much flexibility in what will be covered in the 10 categories.

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