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Reminder: Public comment for essential benefits ends Aug. 10; email PubComm.HRF@tn.gov

Thursday, August 09, 2012 | 11:03am

NASHVILLE, TN – This is a reminder that Friday, August 10, 2012, is the last day to send in public comments in relation to the health conditions that should be covered under essential health benefit categories. 

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance has been gathering public opinion on the determination of an essential health benefits package for health insurance coverage under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or PPACA. For more information, visit http://tn.gov/commerce/insurance/ehb/health_essentials.shtml.  

All interested parties are invited to indicate which of 10 potential benchmark plans designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services should be selected by the state as a benchmark or reference plan. Interested parties may also indicate how any of the plans might be modified, either to ensure the benchmark covers each of the 10 PPACA-required benefit categories, or for other reasons. 

After she considers the public input provided at the statewide meetings she led and through the written comments submitted to her department, Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak will recommend an essential health benefits benchmark to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. 

Within 30 days of an approval by the Governor, the Insurance Commissioner will enact an administrative rule, based on his recommendation, that will designate the benchmark plan and the essential health benefit package to be included in individual and small-employer group health insurance plans offered on or after January 1, 2014.

Written comments and related materials may be submitted by email to PubComm.HRF@tn.gov, or by mailing them to:  

Chlora A. Lindley-Myers

Tenn. Dept. of Commerce and Insurance

500 James Robertson Parkway, 12th Floor

Nashville, TN 37243.

Public comments on Essential Health Benefits that were sent in to Commerce and Insurance may be viewed and/or left at http://tn.gov/commerce/insurance/ehb/ehb-public-comments-form.shtml. Summaries of the meetings may be viewed by clicking on the hyperlinked meeting times listed at http://tn.gov/commerce/insurance/ehb/health_essentials.shtml. 

Also posted on the Commerce and Insurance Essential Health Benefits page are documents related to the discussion of an essential health benefits package:

1. Slides summarizing the determination of an essential health benefits package, including:

a. required coverage categories and allowed variations;

b. what the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services intends to propose  as federal rules; and

c. related matters.

2. Slides outlining the benefits covered by the nine Tennessee essential health benefit benchmark options.

3. A bulletin by a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agency on how it proposes to define essential health benefits.

4. Frequently Asked Questions related to the bulletin.

5. A related list produced by HHS identifying the three federal employee plans that may qualify as benchmark options and the three largest, small-employer group products from which a benchmark may be selected. The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance is in the process of confirming the accuracy of the small employer product designations.

The Department of Commerce and Insurance works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee. www.tn.gov/commerce/, @TNCommerceInsur (Twitter), http://on.fb.me/uFQwUZ (Facebook), http://bit.ly/ry1GyX (YouTube) 

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