Benefits Buzz

Illinois’ Essential Health Benefits – To Be or Not to Be?

Posted on October 3rd, 2012

Flexible Benefit Service Corporation (Flex) recently joined forces with various associations and insurance companies representing employers, producers and insurers to submit comments on the selection of Illinois’ state Essential Health Benefits (EHB) benchmark plan.

The purpose of the consolidated comments was to underscore the importance of affordability of coverage for individual consumers and small employers in Illinois. The target for this effort was the state’s Health Reform Implementation Council (HRIC) Workgroup, who was considering specific factors in choosing the EHB package. The benchmark plan will eventually determine the cost of future premiums and how broad coverage will be for Illinois consumers.

Within the comments submitted to the state, Flex strongly advocated that consumer driven health plans, compatible with health savings accounts (HSAs), should remain a viable option for coverage. Click here to view the submitted comments.

The EHB benchmark plan deadline proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was September 30, 2012. Illinois officials have since chosen a small group plan, which was submitted to HHS for consideration. While the proposed plan includes HSA compatible options, it is ultimately up to HHS to decide whether they will be part of the EHB.

Flex continues to act as a strong supporter for consumer-driven plans and give Illinois consumers a voice on their essential health benefits required by the Affordable Care Act. Illinois businesses and health insurance producers should visit www.flexiblebenefit.com or call to 888-353-9178 with any questions.

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