Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Lawmakers pick Utah’s ‘bare minimum’ health plan
Utah is a step closer to answering those questions — the Legislative Health Reform Task Force decided unanimously Thursday to choose as a benchmark one of the high deductible plans available to public employees.
Lawmakers picked the Public Employee Health Plan’s (PEHP) "Basic Plus" policy over the protests of low-income and mental health advocates who worry it sets the bar too low.
But task force Chairman Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, stressed, "This is the absolute bare minimum that must be offered. Insurers can, and certainly will, offer more."
Defining an "essential benefits" package is a requirement of federal health reform. It applies only to policies sold to individuals and small businesses, not large employer plans.
The task force’s decision isn’t binding. Its recommendations now go to the Utah Insurance Commissioner, who will issue emergency rules that must be endorsed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in time for insurers to market plans in October 2013. Salt Lake Tribune