AHIP Statement on IOM Report on Essential Health Benefits

For Immediate Release
October 6, 2011

Robert Zirkelbach
(202) 778-8493

WASHINGTON, D.C. – AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni issued the following statement regarding the Institute of Medicine’s new report, Essential Health Benefits, Balancing Coverage and Cost.

“With this thoughtful report, the IOM is urging policymakers to strike a balance between the affordability of coverage and the comprehensiveness of coverage. We agree that this balance is critical to ensuring that individuals, working families and small employers can afford health insurance. The recommendation that the initial EHB package reflect the scope of benefits and design provided under a typical small employer plan is an important step toward maintaining affordability.

“Focusing on ‘medical effectiveness, safety and relative value’ is a top priority for health plans and is vital to creating a patient-centered health care system that promotes and rewards evidence-based quality care throughout the system.”

“We strongly agree that, ‘without serious attention to rising health care costs across all sectors, the EHB will become unaffordable over time.’

“As this process moves forward, it is critical that the final EHB regulation maintain flexibility and affordability for consumers and employers.

“We also believe that the issuance of the final EHB regulation must allow sufficient time for health insurance plans to implement the new benefits packages by January 1, 2014.

Providing Health Benefits for Over 200 Million Americans.