By Richard Frank
March 20, 2017
The Affordable Care Act protects people who buy insurance against a
comprehensive set of health care risks. It specifies a set of 10 essential
health benefits that all plans must cover, and also requires that plans
provide those benefits with defined levels of cost-sharing by the
individuals covered. By offering benefit flexibility, the Republican bill
to replace the ACA could mean more expensive insurance for covering
pregnancy, newborn care, mental illness, and addiction disorders.
The 10 essential benefits now required of all plans sold in the health
insurance marketplaces, also called health exchanges, include outpatient
care, hospital care, emergency services, prescription drugs, laboratory
tests, preventive care, rehabilitative services, pediatric care, mental
health services and addiction treatment, and maternity and newborn care.