Update to Kansas Essential Health Benefits Benchmark Plan open for public comment

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The Kansas Insurance Department, today, under the direction of Commissioner Vicki Schmidt, conducted a public stakeholder meeting to provide information on efforts to update the benchmark health insurance plan used for determining essential health benefits (EHB). This is the first time the state has considered an update since the original EHB was established in 2014. The proposed update is open for public comment.
The EHB is a set of services that health insurance plans must cover under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Last year, the Department began the process of reviewing the Kansas EHB with stakeholders, consumers, and carriers to address areas lacking coverage, compare the EHB to other states, and ultimately make a recommendation as to whether the current benchmark plan is adequate or should be updated.
During the meeting, members of the insurance industry and affected stakeholders learned about the existing essential health benefits and compared options for providing additional benefits to Kansans who buy insurance through the individual and small group markets. Recommendations were presented to add coverage for medically necessary:
• Applied behavioral analysis (“ABA”) for Autism spectrum disorder;
• Bariatric surgery; and
• Hearing aids.
“Many insurance carriers already provide these benefits,” said Commissioner Schmidt. “This proposal represents an effort to keep insurance costs down while ensuring medically necessary treatments are covered.”
To learn more about the project to review and update the benchmark plan, and to submit public comment, please visit insurance.kansas.gov/ehb. The deadline to submit comments is April 3, 2023.

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