The National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) has shed light on health plan features that other organizations, rarely, if ever, ask about.
NAHU, Washington, sent a survey to about 16,000 members in an effort to get data to support benefits advisors’ belief that most U.S. employers with health plans provide for their employees.
NAHU received a total of about 1,100 responses, including 923 describing benefits at the producers’ small group plans, or plans with fewer than 100-full time employees, and 170 describing benefits at producers’ large group plans.
NAHU conducted the survey in response to efforts by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement the essential health benefits (EHB) provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).
What Your Peers Are Reading
The PPACA EHB provisions require HHS to develop minimum benefit plan coverage standards, to keep plans from shortchanging enrolling or using skimpy benefits in some areas to scare off applicants with health problems.
HHS officials say they would like to let each state develop its own EHB standards, within guidelines set by HHS. Officials have noted that they would like to see the minimum plan standards reflect the kinds of features included in affordable small group plans rather than the kinds of features included in high-end large group plans.
The brokers who participated in the NAHU study said the small groups they serve do a good job of covering key procedures and services, NAHU says.
About 90% cover hospice care, for example, and 97% cover in-patient rehab. Nearly all cover prenatal care, infant care and organ transplants.