from Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
The White House and House Republican leaders are reportedly negotiating with House Freedom Caucus members to eliminate federal minimum benefit (“Essential Health Benefits”) standards for individual and small-group market plans as part of the House health bill.
That would leave many people with pre-existing conditions unable to find the coverage they need at any price, much less an affordable one; would result in women being charged more than men; and expose many people with health insurance to unaffordable bills, and possibly even putting them at risk for medical bankruptcy.
What’s more, eliminating Essential Health Benefit standards could weaken the ACA’s core protections even for people with coverage from large employers.
The ACA’s prohibition on annual and lifetime limits is tied to the definition of Essential Health Benefits. Thus, repeal of Essential Health Benefit standards could make this protection meaningless, putting almost all Americans with private health insurance coverage — not just those with individual or small-group market coverage — at risk.
Find out what is included in Essential Health Benefits with our interactive feature.