The Essential Health Benefits Coalition is a broad-based organization representing large and small employers from various sectors of the U.S. economy, pharmacy benefit managers, and health plans operating in every state.
The coalition is committed to adoption of an essential health benefits package that is affordable and flexible in order to better enable employers and individuals to obtain and maintain health care coverage.
There are four essential criteria the coalition believes an essential health benefits package developed by the Health and Human Services Department must satisfy:
An essential health benefits package (EHBP) must be affordable.
- Cost continues to be the biggest barrier for individuals and employers to obtain coverage; therefore it is critical that the basic package is affordable.
- The package should provide services that Americans need to protect their health – and not coverage for every treatment we might want.
- An EHBP should serve as a base of truly “essential” and affordable coverage. This will allow choice and opportunity to “build up” from there while ensuring that basic coverage is affordable.
An EHBP must provide flexibility that allows consumers to get coverage suited to their needs and budget.
- The EHBP must allow for flexibility in insurance design, and must not dictate cost sharing arrangements that limit consumer choice.
- The EHBP must allow people to keep the benefits they already have if they like them – as the President promised.
An EHBP should make it easier, not prohibitive, for employers to offer and individuals to obtain health coverage.
- What our economy needs is for businesses to grow and hire more workers. A threshold level of coverage that is too expensive will hinder job growth.
- Employers and individuals must have the freedom to choose plans that meet their benefit needs and their budgets.
- Adopting a benefits package that is not affordable will encourage employers to stop providing coverage.
The development of an EHBP must consider the costs to our nation associated with and resulting from the package.
- Taxpayer costs will greatly increase if more employers are priced out of coverage, further threatening our fiscal future.
- The rising cost of health care and the burden of coverage on family budgets threaten the future of federal entitlement programs. The essential health benefits package must help ease both.
The growing membership of the coalition includes the National Retail Federation,
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business,
National Association of Manufacturers, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors,
National Association of Health Underwriters, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association,
Retail Industry Leaders Association, Prime Therapeutics, America’s Health Insurance Plans,
Express Scripts, Inc., Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, American Osteopathic Association, National Association of Dental Plans, Delta Dental Plans, Council for Affordable Health Insurance, Communicating for Agriculture, and The IHC Group.