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State Ins Mandates and ACA Essential Benefits

State Health Insurance Mandates and the ACA Essential Benefits Provisions

Two girlsUpdated:July 2014

Every state has a substantial number of laws that require private market health insurance to cover specific benefits and provider services. An introduction to such laws is provided below, titled Understanding Mandated Health Insurance Benefits.

State Mandated Benefits: Traditionally states counted mandate laws to include required categories of "persons covered" (such as adopted children, handicapped dependents or adult dependents). With these laws, there are more than 1,900 such statutes among all 50 states; another analysis tallies more than 2,200 individual statute provisions, adopted over a 30+ year period. 

Federal "Essential Health Benefits (EHB): The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides for "essential health benefits," defined as health treatment and services benefits in sections 1302(a) and (b). These combined benefit requirements apply to all policies sold in Exchanges and in the small group and individual markets, effective October 1, 2013. The new benefits are covered for individual patient treatments beginning January 1, 2014. 1,2
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Recent developments on contraception coverage, updated 6/30/2014.

 

 

50-State Table of Essential Health Benefits Benchmarks

In February 2013 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released rules on essential health benefits, actuarial value and accreditation.   NCSL has compiled an easy-to-use 50-state table, including state selections and federal fall-backs, with links to details for each final plan. 
US Map of Essential Health Benefits

  • State List: Essential Health Benefits that Apply to Insurance Sold in Exchanges/Marketplaces & all individual and small group health insurance sold beginning Oct. 1, 2013 or Jan. 1, 2014.

Essential Health Benefits Benchmarks (Final List by States for 2013-2015)

The links and table below describe the final EHB benchmark plans for the 50 states and the District of Columbia.  As described in the EHB Bulletins published February 2012, and in §156.100 of this regulation, each state could select a benchmark plan to serve as the standard for plans required to offer EHB in the state. HHS also established that the default benchmark plan for states that do not exercise the option to select a benchmark health plan would be the largest plan by enrollment in the largest product in the state’s small group market. As described in §156.110, an EHB-benchmark plan must offer coverage in each of the 10 statutory benefit categories. In the summary table that follows, we list the final EHB benchmark plans. Additional information on the specific benefits, limits, and prescription drug categories and classes covered by the EHB-benchmark plans, and state-required benefits, is provided on the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) Web site (http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/data/ehb.html).  Note:  If the base-benchmark plan does not include habilitative services, then states have the opportunity to define those benefits.   Source:  CMS-9980-P: Standards Related to Essential Health Benefits, Actuarial Value, and Accreditation - November 26, 2012

CMS/CCIIO List of Essential Health Benefits Benchmark Plans - Updated as Final,** effective for 2013-2015  (includes adjustments as of September/2013)
Alabama | Alaska | American Samoa | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | District of Columbia | Florida | Georgia| Guam |Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota |Northern Mariana Islands | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Puerto Rico | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virgin Islands| Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming |   
** Final; approved as of February 20, 2013.
Related Reports from NCSL

Key: 
FEDVIP = Federal Employees Dental and Vision Program
CHIP = Children's Health Insurance Program
FEHBP = Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan

 
State Plan Required Benefits Plan Type Issuer and Plan Name Supplemented Categories Supplementary Plan Types Habilitative Services
Alabama
final 2/20/13
State-required benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama PPO 320 Plan Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Alaska
final 2/20/13
State-required benefits Federal Default:  Plan from largest small group product Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska Heritage Select Mental health andsubstance use disorder, including behavioral health treatment Largest FEHBP YES
Arizona State Required Benefits State Recommended:  Largest state employee plan Arizona Benefit Options EPO Plan, administered by United HealthCare

State Link:  State Employee Benefit - United Healthcare EPO
Pediatric Oral FEDVIP NO
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Arkansas State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from 3rd largest small group product HMO Partners, Inc. Open Access POS, 13262AR001
 
Mental health and substance use disorder, including behavioral health treatment 2nd Largest FEHBP NO
Pediatric Oral CHIP
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
California State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
Small Group HMO 30 ID 40513CA035

State Link: Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Small Group HMO 30
Pediatric Oral CHIP YES
Colorado State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado Ded HMO 1200D

State Link:  Kaiser Permanente Ded/CO 1200D benefit plan
Pediatric Oral CHIP NO
Connecticut State Required Benefits State Recommended: Largest state-non Medicaid HMO ConnectiCare HMO

State Link:  ConnectiCare HMO
Pediatric Oral CHIP NO
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Delaware State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from second largest small group product Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware Simply Blue EPO 100 500

State Link: BCBS Small Group EPO plan
Pediatric Oral FEDVIP NO
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
District of Columbia State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, Inc. Blue Preferred PPO

State Link:  BCBS CareFirst BluePreferred
Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Florida State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Inc. BlueOptions PPO
 
Pediatric Oral FEDVIP NO
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Georgia State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia HMO Urgent Care 60 Copay Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Hawaii State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product Hawaii Medical Service Association Preferred Provider Plan 2012
 
Pediatric Oral CHIP NO
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Idaho State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service Inc. Preferred Blue PPO Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Illinois State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois BlueAdvantage PPO Pediatric Oral CHIP NO
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Indiana State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana Blue 5 Blue Access PPO Medical Option 6 Rx Option G Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Iowa State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Wellmark Inc. Alliance Select Copayment Plus PPO Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Kansas State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Comprehensive Major Medical Blue Choice PPO GF 500

State Link:  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas Comprehensive Plan
Pediatric Oral FEDVIP NO
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Kentucky State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product Anthem Health Plans of Kentucky, Inc. PPO

State Link:  Anthem PPO Plan
Pediatric Oral CHIP YES
Louisiana State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana GroupCare PPO Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Maine State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Anthem Health Plans of Maine Blue Choice 20 PPO with RX 10 30 50 50 Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Maryland State Required Benefits State Recommended: Largest State Employee Plan CareFirst of Maryland, Inc. State of Maryland PPO

State Link: Maryland State Employee Plan
Pediatric Oral CHIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Massachusetts State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc. HMO Blue 2000 Deductible Pediatric Oral CHIP YES
Michigan State Required Benefits State Recommended: Largest state non-Medicaid HMO Priority Health PriorityHMO 100 percent Hospital Services Plan

State Link:  Priority Health HMO
Pediatric Oral CHIP NO
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Minnesota State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product HealthPartners 500 25 Open Access PPO Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Mississippi State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Nework Blue PPO Pediatric Oral CHIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Missouri State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Healthy Alliance Life Insurance Co. (Anthem BCBS) Blue 5 Blue Access PPO Medical Option 4 Rx Option D Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Montana State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana Blue Dimensions PPO Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Nebraska State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska BluePride PPO Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Nevada State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product Rocky Mountain Hospital and Medical Service, Inc. (Anthem BCBS) GenRx PPO 45 Copay Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
New Hampshire State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product Matthew Thornton Health Plan (Anthem BCBS) HMO Blue New England 25 50 WITH Rx 10 35 30 OOP 2500

State Link:  Matthew Thorton Blue (Anthem BCBS 96751NH005)
Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
New Jersey State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Horizon HMO Access HSA Compatible Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
New Mexico State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product Lovelace Insurance Company Classic PPO Pediatric Oral
 
CHIP YES
New York State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product Oxford Health Insurance, Inc. Oxford EPO

State Link:  Oxford EPO
Pediatric Oral CHIP YES
North Carolina State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Blue Options PPO Pediatric Oral FEDVIP NO
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
North Dakota State Required Benefits State Recommended: Largest state non-Medicaid HMO Sanford Health Plan HMO Pediatric Oral CHIP NO
Pediatric Vision CHIP
Ohio State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Community Insurance Company (Anthem BCBS) Blue 6 Blue Access PPO Medical Option D4 Rx Option G Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Oklahoma State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma BlueOptions PPO RYBO5 Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Oregon State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from 3rd largest small group product PacificSource Health Plans PPO Preferred CoDeduct Value 3000 35 70

State Link:  PacificSource Preferred CoDeduct Small Group Plan
Pediatric Oral CHIP NO
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Pennsylvania State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Aetna Health, Inc. PA POS Cost Sharing 34 1500 Ded Pediatric Oral FEDVIP NO
Rhode Island State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island Vantage Blue PPO Pediatric Oral FEDVIP NO
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
South Carolina State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina Business Blue Complete PPO Pediatric Oral FEDVIP NO
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
South Dakota State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Wellmark of South Dakota Blue Select PPO Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Tennessee State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee PPO Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Texas State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas BestChoice PPO RS26 Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Utah State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from 3rd largest state employee plan Public Employee's Health Program Utah Basic Plus NONE NONE YES
Vermont State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product The Vermont Health Plan, LLC, CDHP-HMO Pediatric Oral CHIP NO
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Virginia State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product Anthem Health Plans of VA PPO KeyCare 30 with KC30 Rx plan 10 30 50 OR 20

State Link:  Anthem Small Group PPO
Pediatric Oral FEDVIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Washington State Required Benefits State Recommended: Plan from largest small group product Regence BlueShield non-grandfathered small group product

State Link:  Regence Innova Small Employer Plan
Pediatric Oral CHIP YES
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
West Virginia State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia Super Blue PPO Plus 2000 1000 Ded Pediatric Oral FEDVIP NO
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Wisconsin State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company Choice Plus Definity HSA Plan A92NS Pediatric Oral FEDVIP NO
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP
Wyoming State Required Benefits Federal Default: Plan from largest small group product Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Wyoming Blue Choice Business 1000 80 20 Pediatric Oral FEDVIP NO
Pediatric Vision FEDVIP

Source:  CMS-9980-P: Standards Related to Essential Health Benefits, Actuarial Value, and Accreditation - November 26, 2012



Prescription Drug Coverage as an Essential Health Benefit

Prescription drugs are one of the 10 essential health benefits that the ACA statute requires marketplace and individual and small group health policies plans to cover, effective January 1, 2014. . Pharmaceuticals are already widely included in commercial plans as well as in Medicaid, state employee health programs and Medicare. However, with almost 10,000 FDA-approved prescription products and the industry-standard practice of using formularies (or approved lists) to determine the specific drugs covered and the related cost sharing, consumers may have difficulty identifying a plan that both includes the drugs they need and the out-of-pocket costs they can afford. The graphic map below provides a snapshot of how drugs assured of coverage may vary based on 2012 in-state plan practices that are now the official benchmark.  Insurers may cover additional pharmaceuticals not listed in the official benchmark.  Enrollees are advised to examine the covered drugs within each insurance company's offered plans.

   Comparative Coverage of State Benchmark Plan Rx Formularies Vary Greatly From State to State
Map of Essential Health Benefits for Prescription Drugs




Source: Based on data released by CMS on State Benchmark Plans, February 20, 2013, available online.  Maximum potential drug count is 1032; totals may double-count drugs that are categorized in more than one standard treatment class (set by the US Pharmacopeia).  Map design (c) 2013 by Avalere, as released 9/19/2013.

Key: 
FEDVIP = Federal Employees Dental and Vision Program
CHIP = Children's Health Insurance Program
FEHBP = Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan

Federal Health Law and the Supreme Court

On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court issued an opinion upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, with limitations on penalties for states that choose not to expand their Medicaid programs. The decision did not affect other provisions. The information on this web page continues to reflect state actions addressing the ACA.

For NCSL’s updated summary and analysis of the Court’s decision and its effects see: U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Health La
HHS Bulletins

Types of Health Insurance available in 2014 - a consumer-oriented explanation of differences among HMOs, PPOs, to catastrophic coverage. (Updated September 2013)
On February 20, 2013 HHS issued a final rule on Standards Related to Essential Health Benefits, Actuarial Value, and Accreditation.

On November 20, 2012 HHS issued new Standards Related to Essential Health Benefits, Actuarial Value, and Accreditation.

On July 2, 2012 HHS issued Essential Health Benefits: List of the Largest Three Largest Small Group Products by State - providing updated details on the options for benchmark plans.

On Dec. 16, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services issued an “Essential Health Benefits: HHS Informational Bulletin” outlining proposed policies that will give states considerably more flexibility and freedom in implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Essential Health Benefits Implementation Studies and Examples 
Alabama  Essential Health Benefits Benchmark Analysis - June 2012
Arizona  Essential Health Benefits, Arizona Department of Insurance - June 1, 2012
Arkansas  Selection of Arkansas' Essential Health Benefits Benchmark Plan - September 21, 2012
 Proposed Rule 103: Essential Health Benefits Benchmark Plan - June 28, 2012
California  Interaction between California State Benefit Mandates and the Affordable Care Act’s “Essential Health Benefits - March 15, 2012
 Bills A 1453 (passed Assembly 5/14/12) / S 951 (passed Senate; passed Assembly Comm. 7/3/2012) would define the essential benefit benchmark
 Immunization Mandates, Benchmark Plan Choices, and Essential Health Benefits - June 7, 2012 
 Mammography Mandates, Benchmark Plan Choices, and Essential Health Benefits - June 7, 2012
Colorado  Final Colorado Essential Health Benefits Benchmark Plan Selection - September 27, 2012
Connecticut  Essential Health Benefits Benchmark Plan - July 26, 2012
 Essential Health Benefits and Benchmark Plan Options - June 4, 2012
D.C.  Essential Health Benefits Bulletin - August 29, 2012
Delaware  Defining Essential Health Benefits for Delaware - June 15, 2012
BCBS Small Group EPO plan
Hawaii  Hawai'i Selects Healthcare Benefits Package - October 1, 2012
Illinois  State of Illinois Comparison of Benchmark Plans
Kansas  Milliman Kansas Insurance Department Essential Health Benefits Report
 Milliman Kansas Insurance Department Essential Health Benefits Report Addendum
Kentucky  Kentucky Essential Health Benefits
Maine  Benefits provided by potential benchmark major medical plans - Feb. 1, 2012
Maryland  EHB benchmark options comparison of benefits (July 7, 2012 - DRAFT)
 EHB benchmark options comparison of state mandates (July 7, 2012 - DRAFT)
 EHB benchmark options premium impact (July 7, 2012 - DRAFT)
Massachusetts  Essential Health Benefit Benchmark Option - Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Michigan  Michigan Essential Health Benefits Comparison - May 21, 2012
 Benefits provided by potential benchmark major medical plans - data as of 3/31/12
Minnesota  Access Work Group - Feedback and Recommendation Essential Health Benefits
 Essential Benefit Set - Default Scenario
Mississippi  Mississippi Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Board Final Recommendation on Essential Health Benefits - June 13, 2012
Nebraska High Deductible Health Plan - October 1, 2012
Nevada  Selecting the Essential Health Benefits package for Nevada’s individual and small group market - March 2012
New Hampshire Comparison of Potential Essential Health Benefits Benchmarks
New Mexico  Primer:  Essential Health Benefits Package
New York  Essential Health Benefits Study Review of State Mandates and Potential Benchmark Plans - August 2, 2012
 Essential Health Benefits Overview - August 2, 2012
North Carolina  Analysis of Benchmark Plan Options for the Essential Health Benefits Package in North Carolina - May 2012
North Dakota  Analysis of Essential Health Benefits Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Prepared for The North Dakota Insurance Department - August 2012
Oregon  State's Essential Health Benefits Workgroup final recommendation; MEMO - July 6, 2012
Rhode Island  Essential Health Benefits - Selecting A Benchmark Plan - May, 2012
 Essential Health Benefits - Selecting and Supplementing a Benchmark Plan in Rhode Island - May 2012
 Essential Health Benefits - Comparing Benchmark Plans - June 2012
 Essential Health Benefits - Public Comments
Tennessee  Tennessee Essential Health Benefits Comparison - August 2012
 Public Comments on Essential Health Benefits - August 2012
Utah  Essential Health Benefits - Overview - June 7, 2012
 Salt Lake Tribune - Lawmakers pick Utah’s ‘bare minimum’ health plan - August 16, 2012
Vermont  Essential Health Benefits Department of Health Access (VDHA) Recommendations
Virginia  Preliminary analysis - February 2012
 Essential Health Benefit Package Subcommittee Report - June 2012
Washington  2012 enacted law, HB 2319, authorizes a state health benefit exchange and specifies selection of the largest small group plan as the benchmark for establishing essential health benefits. Signed into law as Chapter 87, March 23, 2012

Federal Approach Establishing State Choices for EHB

"HHS intends to propose that essential health benefits are defined using a benchmark approach. Under the department’s intended approach announced Dec. 16, 2011 states would have the flexibility to select a benchmark plan that reflects the scope of services offered by a “typical employer plan.” This would give states the flexibility to select a plan that would best meet the needs of their citizens.

States would choose one of the following benchmark health insurance plans:

  • One of the three largest small group plans in the State by enrollment;
  • One of the three largest State employee health plans by enrollment;
  • One of the three largest federal employee health plan options by enrollment;
  • The largest HMO plan offered in the State’s commercial market by enrollment.

If states choose not to select a benchmark, HHS has proposed that the default benchmark will be the small group plan with the largest enrollment in the state.

The benefits and services included in the benchmark health insurance plan selected by the state would be the essential health benefits package. Plans could modify coverage within a benefit category so long as they do not reduce the value of coverage.

To prevent Federal dollars going to state benefit mandates, the health reform law requires states to defray the cost of benefits required by state law in excess of essential health benefits for individuals enrolled in any plan offered through an Exchange. However, as a transition in 2014 and 2015, some of the benchmark options will include health plans in the state’s small group market and state employee health benefit plans.  These benchmarks are generally regulated by the state and would be subject to state mandates applicable to the small group market. Thus, those mandates would be included in the state essential health benefits package if the state elected one of the three largest small group plans in that state as its benchmark.

This approach would provide maximum flexibility to states, employers and issuers while providing quality, comprehensive, coverage for consumers."
Also read:

IOM Issues Recommendations on Essential Benefits - Report Released Oct. 6, 2011

On Oct. 6, 2011 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued guidance to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on "essential benefits," or mandated coverage, to be offered in the health reform law's insurance exchanges. The long awaited report, issued at the request of HHS, does not list the specific medical services to be covered (and paid for by insurers). Instead it recommends a framework of how to define the minimum benefits that will be included in insurance policies.

From the IOM Introduction: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made the most comprehensive changes to the provision of health insurance since the development of Medicare and Medicaid by requiring all Americans to have health insurance by 2016. An estimated 30 million individuals who would otherwise be uninsured are expected to obtain insurance through the private health insurance market or state expansion of Medicaid programs.

The success of the ACA depends on the design of the essential health benefits (EHB) package and its affordability. 
- IOM Statement 10/6/2011

For the first time on a nationwide level, "costs must be taken into account," the report states. "Unless we are able to balance the cost with the breadth of benefits, we may never be able to achieve the health care coverage envisioned in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. If benefits are not affordable, fewer individuals will buy insurance."

The IOM also said that HHS should define a "typical employer plan" based on the coverage provided by small employers (currently defined as up to 50 or 100 employees). The resulting package of health insurance should be based on the national average premium cost for a typical small employer plan (in 2014) and should not exceed that amount.

IOM's release summary states, "(t)he committee saw its primary task as finding the right balance between making a breadth of coverage available for individuals at a cost they could afford. This balance will help ensure that an estimated 68 million people will have access to care covered" by the Essential Health Benefits.

The report, Essential Health Benefits: Balancing Coverage and Cost is available online as an Overview, a summary Report Brief, Criteria List and free PDF (requires free account member sign up with The National Academies Press).

State Roles: As noted in the NCSL report above, all 50 states already have a total of more than 1,800 separate laws that mandate specific insurance coverage and payment. However, more than half the states also have special requirements known as mandate review or mandate evaluation laws and boards, that already can and do evaluate costs of adding new benefit coverage within their state.  The IOM also recommended that the HHS secretary grant state requests for a variant of the essential health-benefits package for those states administering their own exchanges. These will be granted where states produce a package that is “actuarially equivalent” to the national package. The IOM encouraged the HHS secretary to conduct a “public deliberative process” that it described in the report.

The IOM report urges the HHS formal list of essential benefits be announced by May 1, 2012. The report issued on October 6 does not have a binding effect.

The HHS Bulletin  "describes a comprehensive, affordable and flexible proposal and informs the public about the approach that HHS intends to pursue in rulemaking to define essential health benefits."
http://www.ncsl.org/documents/health/EHBbultn.pdf
 

Overview of ACA mandate features

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)3 does not directly change or preempt state laws that require or "mandate" coverage of specific benefits and provider services. In the 2010-2013 start-up period, there are no direct effects on existing state health mandates. However, beginning January 1, 2014, the new ACA Exchange marketplaces will require a more uniform, 50-state standard coverage of "essential benefits"- partly defined in statute (below) and partly subject to federal HHS regulations, being issued in preliminary form and in parts as of February 2012.  [See material and citations above.]  As noted below, starting 2014, if state laws mandate benefit features not-included in the final HHS "essential benefits" list, the state will pay any additional costs for those benefits for exchange enrollees.

For the first two years after the ACA was signed (mid-2010-2012) this aspect of the law was difficult, in some cases nearly impossible, to calculate in terms of its financial, political or policy result. There are several reasons for this:

  1. Existing state benefit mandates have widely different effects -- some may be used by only a small number of enrollees (such as hair prosthesis for cancer patients); others are widely accepted "good practices" that insurers already voluntarily cover in many cases (PSA tests or mammogram screening). Some have a very low incremental cost, while others can cost tens of millions of dollars across the entire insured population.
  2. Insurers participating in an Exchange can in fact choose to cover selected "mandated" benefits on a voluntary basis, either at no additional charge, or with a specified policy rider which may be judged a cost-effective state investment.
  3. Many state laws already have exceptions or exemptions that allow sale of certain insurance without some or all mandates. For example High Deductible Health Plans with HSAs may exclude all state mandates until the enrollee spends $1,200 or up to $5,000 out-of-pocket.
  4. The "Essential Health Benefits Package"(defined in part below) already includes some of the more costly services.
  5. The method by which states will calculate and “will pay any additional costs” has not yet been determined and will require new federal regulations and guidance. The cost of additional benefits may be payable to the insurer or to the individual enrollee.
  6. About 33 states currently have a required state mandate review requirement, which restricts the adoption of new mandates, and is intended to analyze and in some cases justify the medical efficacy and cost-effect of these mandates.
  7. States remain free to repeal, restrict, modify or expand these state mandates -- the ACA does not interfere with this state legal process.  Federal regulations proposed in early 2012 clarify that state laws effective as of December 31, 2011 can be included in state selected EHB plans; state laws passed after that date may not be covered as EHBs within the  federal law. (Updated December 2012)

Protecting Grandfathered Plan Status4

For existing health insurance benefit packages and coverage plans, whose sponsors want to qualify for “grandfathered status”, the ACA includes fairly specific requirements and restrictions on changes occurring after March 23, 2010. This includes “certain changes to benefits, including a “substantial cut to diagnose or treat a particular condition.” However, this provision is not dependent on a state law mandate – the expectation is on the insurer and the employer’s choice of benefit package – these can offer benefits within or beyond those stated in state, or in federal law. An increase in benefit coverage would have no negative effect on an employer’s grandfathered status.

What Is a Health Insurance Exchange? Health reform requires the establishment of American Health Benefits Exchanges, or simply “exchanges,” to provide a regulated marketplace where eligible consumers can buy health insurance. Initially, individuals and small businesses will be eligible to buy health insurance through the exchanges.

Depending on their incomes, they may qualify for tax credits to help defray the cost of coverage. Individuals will select coverage through one exchange, and small businesses will select their small business coverage through another, known as the Small Business Health Options Program, or “SHOP exchange.” Beginning in 2017, states will have the option of allowing large groups to purchase coverage through the SHOP exchange.

“Qualified Health Plans.”

Plans that meet certain qualifications can sell to individuals and small businesses in the health insurance exchange. (Those plans can sell policies at the same price outside of the exchange, as well.) To be qualified, these plans must cover the essential package of benefits, offering at least silver and gold level coverage. They can cover benefits that are outside the essential benefit package, as well, but with two caveats: 1) if they cover abortion services, they must collect separate premium checks for that coverage and cannot use any premium tax credits or other federal funding for those services; and 2) if they are required under state law to cover services beyond the essential benefit package, states will pay any additional costs for those benefits for exchange enrollees. [See law text in Appendix 2, below]

States may also already have their own definition of qualified benefit plans that goes beyond the federal definition. While the ACA does not legally preempt those laws, states may want to consider, at least, conforming the terms “qualified” or otherwise clarifying which provisions are federal and which are state. State and federal regulations also are very likely to play a role in implementing these provisions.

Congressional Research Analysis

The following material is excerpted verbatim from the Congressional Research Service: Report R40942, Private Health Insurance Provisions in Senate-Passed H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Footnotes #5-15 are from that report.

  • “Essential health benefits package” refers to health insurance coverage that will provide “essential health benefits,” will not exceed out-of-pocket and deductible limits specified in the law, and will not impose a deductible on preventive services.
  • “Essential health benefits” refers to categories of benefits specified in the law (described below) which will be provided in an “essential health benefits package.”

Essential Health Benefits (EHB) Package Required by the ACA

The Secretary must specify the “essential health benefits” (EHB) included in the “essential health benefits package” that Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) will be required to cover (effective beginning in 2014). In December 2012, HHS clarified and redefined essential health benefits for 2013-2015 as based on one of nine categories of major operational health plans by state, with each state able to submit their selected choice.  EHB is defined in Section 1302(b) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.5  The permanent statute citation is 42 U. S. C. 
§ 300gg-13(a)(4), and related regulations.  It  includes at least the following general categories:

  • Ambulatory patient services
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment [new details, 11/2013]
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices [definitions]
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness and chronic disease management (details directly below)
  • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care.

Preventive Services for Adults, Women and Children

63 specific preventive services are explained in more detail in a separate NCSL web report and related HHS fact sheets.

Women's preventive health services were defined in detail via federal regulations published August 1, 2011, requiring broad coverage, without copayments or deductibles, of:

  • Annual preventive-care medical visits and exams
  • Contraceptives (products approved by the FDA) - with exemptions for religious employers, a temporary enforcement safe harbor. 
  • Mammograms
  • Colonoscopies
  • Blood pressure tests
  • Childhood immunizations
  • Domestic violence screenings for interpersonal and domestic violence should be provided for all women
  • H.I.V. screenings
  • Breast feeding counseling and equipment, including breast pumps at no charge.
  • Gestational diabetes in pregnant women screening
  • DNA tests for HPV as part of cervical cancer screening
     

2012-2013 Implementation:  New health plans were required to include these services without cost sharing for insurance policies with plan years beginning on or after August 1, 2012.  The rules governing coverage of preventive services which allow plans to use reasonable medical management to help define the nature of the covered service apply to women’s preventive services.  Plans will retain the flexibility to control costs and promote efficient delivery of care by, for example, continuing to charge cost-sharing for branded drugs if a generic version is available and is just as effective and safe for the patient to use.  (Note: 2012 health plans based on a January-December calendar year  changed coverage effective January 1, 2013.)

Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, coverage provided for the essential health benefits package will provide bronze, silver, gold, or platinum level of coverage (described below).6 A health plan providing the essential health benefits package will be prohibited from imposing an annual cost-sharing limit that exceeds the thresholds applicable to HSA-qualified HDHPs. Small group health plans providing the essential health benefits package will be prohibited from imposing a deductible greater than $2,000 for self-only coverage, or $4,000 for any other coverage in 2014 (annually adjusted thereafter).8   Such limits will be applied in a manner that will not affect the actuarial value of any health plan,9 including a bronze level plan (described below). Consistent with the immediate reforms described above, plans providing the essential health benefits package will be prohibited from applying a deductible to preventive health services.10

The ACA requires the Secretary to define and periodically update coverage that provides essential health benefits. The Secretary will ensure that the scope of essential health benefits is equal to the scope of benefits under a typical employer-provided health plan (as certified by the Chief Actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services).11  A health plan will be allowed to provide benefits in excess of the essential health benefits defined by the Secretary.12

However, if a state requires such additional benefits (beyond the certified list publish) in QHPs, the state must reimburse individuals for the additional costs of those benefits.13

Mental Health Updated: The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury on Nov. 8, 2013 jointly issued a final mental health and substance use disorder parity rule, which increases parity between mental health/substance use disorder benefits and medical/surgical benefits in group and individual health plans. A fact sheet on the rules is available here

Essential Benefits as Applied in 2010-2013.

While the major, nationwide requirements for essential benefits will go into effect January 1, 2014, there are at least two ACA provisions already in effect which reference use of “essential benefits”.

  • The provision which establishes restrictions on the imposition of annual limits on the dollar value of health plans effective September 23, 2010, requiring coverage value of at least $750,000 per year, and higher maximum in 2011-2013,  refers to the “dollar value of essential health benefits (as defined in Section 1302(b) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act)”, including a waiver process that allows certain plans to have a lower total value for a one-year period. [Recent history and chronology in the next section, below]

  • The provision which establishes Medical Loss Ratios (MLRs), effective January 2011, references essential benefits as part of the calculation of actual medical payments by insurers.

Annual Limits and Exceptions

Under HHS regulations, plans offered between September 2010 and September 2011 may not limit annual coverage of essential benefits such as hospital, physician and pharmacy benefits to less than $750,000. The restricted annual limit will be $1.25 million for plan years starting on or after September 23, 2011, and $2 million for plan years starting between September 23, 2012 and January 1, 2014.

HHS has approved limited, selected waiver exemptions from annual limits for selected states or employer sponsor situations.  In February, 2011 it was announced that Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee, received waivers allowing health insurance companies to continue offering less generous annual limits on benefits. In these cases, existing state law already mandates that policies with lower annual limits on coverage be offered. The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), explained that because “limited benefit plans, or mini-med plans, are often the only type of insurance offered to some workers,” the one-year waivers allow continuity.

Levels of Coverage

Beginning in 2014, ACA will generally require QHPs to provide coverage at one of the following federally established benefit levels: bronze, silver, gold, or platinum. This requirement will apply regardless of whether or not the QHP is offered through an exchange (and premiums must be the same for QHPs inside and outside of the exchange). Excluding dental-only plans, health insurance issuers must offer a silver plan and a gold plan in the exchange. Each coverage level will be based on a specified share of the full actuarial value of the essential health benefits (see Figure 1). A health insurance issuer that offers coverage in any of these four levels will be required to offer the same level of coverage in a plan specifically designed for individuals under age 21.14

Another plan option permitted under ACA in 2014 is a catastrophic plan. A catastrophic plan will provide coverage for essential health benefits, but coverage is paid for by the insurer only after the enrollee pays deductibles equal to the amounts specified as out-of-pocket (OOP) limits for HSA-qualified HDHPs. The exact deductible will be determined for the 2014 plan year.  As an advance example, the actual OOP limits for 2011 commercial market tax-deductible HSA/HDHP combinations are $5,950 individual / $11,900 family;  for 2012 deductible limits are $6,050 individual / $12,100 family.  Such deductibles will not apply to at least three primary care visits per plan year. A catastrophic plan will be permitted only in the individual market (1) for young adults (those under age 30 before the plan year begins), and (2) for those persons exempt from the individual mandate because no affordable coverage is available or they have a hardship exemption.   By comparison federal HSA/high deductible plan minimum deductibles for 2010-11 were established to require enrollees to pay the first $1,200 of their medical expenses ($2,400 for family coverage) before insurance benefits begin.

  • Types of Health Insurance available in 2014 - a consumer-oriented explanation of differences among HMOs, PPOs, to catastrophic coverage. (Updated September 2013)

___________

Notes and Sources

1 .Introduction to required health benefits
2 Council for Affordable Health Insurance.  "Health Insurance Mandates in the States 2011."  Victoria Craig Bunce, JP Wieske.
3 The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is formally named the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Pub. L. 111–148.
4 Congressional Research Service. Grandfathered Health Plans Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). January 3, 2011.
4A - For a discussion of the definitions of these treatments and services, see Habilitative Services Coverage for Children Under the Essential Health Benefit Provisions of the Affordable Care Act
Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, May 2013
4B - Contraceptive Services Background: On August 1, 2011 the administration also released an amendment to the women's prevention regulation that allows religious institutions that offer insurance to their employees the choice of whether or not to cover contraception services. This regulation is modeled on the most common accommodation for churches available in the majority of the 28 states that already require insurance companies to cover contraception.  On February 20, 2012 an addition exemption was announced for employers that are charities or hospitals with a religious objection to providing contraception services as part of their health plan.  In these circumstances, the insurance company would be required to reimburse for the services.  Also the "temporary enforcement safe harbor" applies until the first plan year that begins on or after August 1, 2013. On February 1, 2013 the "contraception rule" was further altered  to expand the number of groups that do not need to pay directly for this coverage. See:

- CMS Fact Sheet: Women’s Preventive Services Coverage and Religious Organizations (cms.gov) 
- CMS Document: Full Text of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Women’s Preventive Services Coverage


CRS FOOTNOTES (#5-14) Cited in Congressional Research Service: Report R40942
§1302(b). [Cited in Congressional Research Service: Report R40942, Private Health Insurance Provisions in Senate-Passed H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
6 §1302(d).
7 §1302(c).
8  Ibid.
9  “Actuarial value” is a summary measure of a health plan’s benefit generosity. It is expressed as the percentage of medical expenses estimated to be paid by the insurer for a standard population and set of allowed charges. For a background discussion about actuarial value, see CRS Report R40491, Setting and Valuing Health Insurance Benefits, by Chris L. Peterson.
10  §1302(c)
11  §1302(b)
12  §1302(b)(5)
13  §1311(d)(3)(B), as amended by §10104(e).
14  §1302(d).
15  Excerpted from Michael Bihari, MD, former About.com Guide editor.   Updated February 11, 2010

News and Information

A Comparative Review of Essential Health Benefits Pertinent to Children in Large Federal, State, and Small Group Health Insurance Plans: Implications for Selecting State Benchmark Plans - American Academy of Pediatrics, July 2012

Essential Health Benefit Benchmark Plans, as of December 4, 2012 - Kaiser Family Foundation, StateHealthFacts.org, December 4, 2012

Essential Health Benefits: What Have States Decided for Their Benchmark? - Kaiser Family Foundation, December 7, 2012

Health Care Law Will Let States Tailor Benefits - New York Times, December 17, 2011

"Defining 'Typical': A Critical Step In Determining The Health Law's Essential Benefits Package" - article by State  Rep. James Dunnigan (Utah), in  Kaiser Health News, September 15, 2011

Insurance Coverage for Contraception Is Required-  The Obama administration requires health plans to cover government-approved contraceptives for women.- published August 2,2011 by NY Times.

Mandated Coverage: Several Blues Plans Face Scrutiny Over Refusal to Cover Cost of Autism Treatment - BCBS Plans Report, August 18, 2011.


Table 1 - State Mandated Benefit Evaluation Laws  (as of December 2012)

These state-authorized or created programs are tasked with examining proposed new mandates or changes in existing mandates to determine the health and economic affect of such laws.  The agency links below provide examples of these state evaluations.
 

State
(Total=33)

Year Enacted

Law Citation

Entity Responsible

Agency Website

Reports

Arizona

1985

Title 20, Article 3, Sections 181 - 182

Proponents Submit Report

 

 

California

2002

Health and Safety Code 127660-127665

University of California

California Health Benefits Review Program

2004 - 2011

Connecticut

2009

Public Act 09-179

University of Connecticut

Connecticut Health Benefit Review Program

2012

Florida

2002

Title XXXVII, Chapter 624, Part I, Section 624.215

Independent Research Group

 

 

Georgia

2011

Title 33, Chapter 24, Sections 60 - 67; GA SB17

Special Advisory Commission

 

 

Hawaii

2001

Chapter 23, Sections 51 -52

Mandated Health Insurance Review Panel

Department of Insurance

2001

Indiana

2003

Title 27, Article 1, Chapter 3, Section 30.2003

Interim Study Committee

 

 

Kansas

1999

Chapter 40, Article 22, Section 2248 - 2249

Insurance Department

Insurance Department

2012

Kentucky

2003

Title II, Chapter 6, Section 30, 6.948

Insurance Department

Insurance Department

 

Louisiana

2010

Title 24, Section 603.1

Mandated Health Benefits Commission

Office of Health Insurance

2005-2007

Maine

1998

Title 24A, Chapter 33, Section 2752

Insurance Bureau

Bureau of Insurance

 

Maryland

2003

Title 15, Subtitle 15, Sections 1501 - 1502

Health Care Commission

Maryland Health Care Commission

2011

Massachusetts

2002

Title 1, Chapter 3, Section 38C

Division of Health Care Finance

Division of Health Care Finance

2005

Minnesota

2003

Chapter 62J, Section 26

Commerce / Health Departments

Department of Health

 

Missouri

2011

Chapter 375, section 1190, subsection 3

Joint Committee on Legislative Research

Joint Committee on Legislative Research

 

Nevada

1989

SCR58 - 65th Session

Legislative Commission

Legislative Counsel

1991

New Hampshire

2004

Title XXXVII, Chapter 400-A, Section 39-a

Insurance Department

Insurance Department

 

New Jersey

2003

Title 17B, Chapter 27D, Sections 1-5

Mandated Health Benefits Advisory Commission

MHBAC

2005-2008

North Dakota

2001

Title 54, Chapter 03, Section 28

Legislative Council

ND Legislative Council

 

Ohio

2000

Title 1, Chapter 103, Section 14.4 - 14.6

Legislative Budget Office

Ohio Legislative Services Commission

 

Oregon

1985

Title 17, Chapter 171, Sections 171.870-171.880

Oregon Health Council

Oregon Health Council

 

Oklahoma

2009

2009 SB 822

Special Task Force

 

 

Pennsylvania

1986

Title 28, Sections 931.1-931.4

Health Care Cost Containment Council

Health Care Cost Containment Council

Reports

South Carolina

2002

Title 38, Chapter 71, Section 285

Governor's Task Force

 

 

Tennessee

2004

Title 3, Chapter 2, Section 111

Legislative Commission

Joint Committee Fiscal Review

2011

Utah

 

 

Department of Insurance

Department of Insurance

2004

Texas

2001

HB 1610

Health Plans Under Supervision of DOI

Department of Insurance

2008-2009

Virginia

1990

Title 2.2, Sections 2503-2505

Advisory Commission on Mandated Benefits

Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission

2006-2009

Washington

1997

Title 48, Chapter 48.47, Sections 005-900

Proponents Submit Report

Department of Health

A-Z List

Wisconsin

1988

Chapter 601, Section 601.423

Department of Employee Trust Funds

Department of Employee Trust Funds

 

Arkansas, Colorado, New York, North Carolina - mandate review program no longer active.

Sources:
NCSL State Research; California Health Benefits Review Program.  "Other States' Health Benefit Review Programs, 2011."


 Appendix I -
Background: Understanding Mandated Health Insurance
Benefits15

Mandated benefits (also known as “mandated health insurance benefits” and “mandates”) are benefits that are required to cover the treatment of specific health conditions, certain types of healthcare providers, and some categories of dependents, such as children placed for adoption. A number of health care benefits are mandated by either state law, federal law — or in some cases — both. Prior to passage of the PPACA, between the states and the federal government there are upwards of 2,000 health insurance mandates.

Although mandates continue to be added as health insurance requirements, they are controversial. Patient advocates claim that mandates help to ensure adequate health insurance protection while others (especially health insurance companies) complain that mandates increase the cost of healthcare and health insurance.

Mandated Health Insurance Benefit Laws
Mandated health insurance laws passed at either the federal or state level usually fall into one of three categories:

  • Health care services or treatments that must be covered, such as substance abuse treatment, contraception, in vitro fertilization, maternity services, prescription drugs, and smoking cessation.

  • Healthcare providers other than physicians, such as acupuncturists, chiropractors, nurse midwives, occupational therapists, and social workers.

  • Dependents and other related individuals, such as adopted children, dependent students, grandchildren, and domestic partners.

The mandated benefit laws most often apply to health insurance coverage offered by employers and private health insurance purchased directly by an individual.

Mandated Insurance Benefits and the Cost of Health Insurance
Most people – whether for or against mandates – agree that mandated health benefits increase health insurance premiums. Depending on the mandated benefit and how that benefit is defined, the increase cost of a monthly premium can increase from less than 0.1% to more than 5%.

Trying to figure out how a mandated benefit will impact an insurance premium has been very complicated. The mandate laws differ from state to state and even for the same mandate, the rules and regulations may vary.

For example: Most states mandate coverage for chiropractors, but the number of allowed visits may vary from state to state. One state may limit the number of chiropractor visits to four each year, while another state may allow up to 12 chiropractor visits each year. Since chiropractor services can be expensive, the impact on health insurance premiums may be greater in the state with the more generous benefit.

Additionally, the lack of mandates could also increase the cost of healthcare and health insurance premiums. If someone who has a medical problem goes without necessary health care because it is not covered by his or her insurance, he or she may become sicker and need more expensive services in the future.


Appendix 2 - TEXT EXCERPT FROM PPACA

Section 10104(e
(3) RULES RELATING TO ADDITIONAL REQUIRED BENEFITS.—
(A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), an Exchange may make available a qualified health plan notwithstanding any provision of law that may require benefits other than the essential health benefits specified under section 1302(b).

(B) STATES MAY REQUIRE ADDITIONAL BENEFITS.—
(i) IN GENERAL.—Subject to the requirements of clause (ii), a State may require that a qualified health plan offered in such State offer benefits in addition to the essential health benefits specified under section 1302(b).
(ii) STATE MUST ASSUME COST.—Replaced by section 10104(e)(1).
A State shall make payments—
(I) to an individual enrolled in a qualified health plan offered in such State; or (II) on behalf of an individual described in subclause (I) directly to the qualified health plan in which such individual is enrolled; to defray the cost of any additional benefits described in clause (i).

Federal Health Law and the Supreme Court

On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court issued an opinion upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, with limitations on penalties for states that choose not to expand their Medicaid programs. The decision did not affect other provisions. The information on this web page continues to reflect state actions addressing the ACA. 

For NCSL’s updated summary and analysis of the Court’s decision and its effects see: U.S. Supreme Court and Federal ACA


The state section of this online report is an informal summary explanation of state and federal requirements and is not intended as legal advice. The  PPACA "Recent News" from HHS and the sections excerpted from the Congressional Research Service may be cited as such. Appendix 2 is the exact text from section 10104(e) of the federal law.

 

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