Breaking News: Much-Anticipated Essential Benefits Report Set for October 7 Release Date

It was just confirmed this afternoon that the
much-anticipated essential benefits report will be released on Friday, October
7. The announcement was confirmed by the Institute of Medicine, the group
charged with undertaking a study that will ultimately result in recommendations
on the criteria and methods for determining the essential health benefits
package under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The
October 7 release comes slightly behind of the IOM’s self-imposed deadline of
the end of September.

What remains unclear is when HHS will release the
corresponding rule detailing exactly how the IOM’s recommendations will have to
be utilized by employers and individual and small group health plans. There are
currently two prevailing rumors in D.C. health policy circles about the
essential benefit rule: (1) that the regulation is already basically complete
and will be released very soon after the IOM issues its report, and (2) the
administration will delay issuing the regulation until after the 2012
presidential election.

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