H.R. 3200/Division A/Title I/Subtitle C

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==SUBTITLE C — STANDARDS GUARANTEEING ACCESSS TO ESSENTIAL BENEFITS==

Sec. 121. Coverage of Essential Benefits Package.[edit]

(a) In General.—
A qualified health benefits plan shall provide coverage that at least meets the benefit standards adopted under section 124 for the essential benefits package described in section 122 for the plan year involved.
(b) Choice of Coverage.—
(1) Non-exchange-participating Health Benefits Plans.—
In the case of a qualified health benefits plan that is not an Exchange-participating health benefits plan, such plan may offer such coverage in addition to the essential benefits package as the QHBP offering entity may specify.
(2) Exchange-participating Health Benefits Plans.—
In the case of an Exchange-participating health benefits plan, such plan is required under section 203 to provide specified levels of benefits and, in the case of a plan offering a premium-plus level of benefits, provide additional benefits.
(3) Continuation of Offering of Separate Excepted Benefits Coverage.—
Nothing in this division shall be construed as affecting the offering of health benefits in the form of excepted benefits (described in section 102(b)(1)(B)(ii)) if such benefits are offered under a separate policy, contract, or certificate of insurance.
(c) No Restrictions on Coverage Unrelated to Clinical Appropriateness.—
A qualified health benefits plan may not impose any restriction (other than cost-sharing) unrelated to clinical appropriateness on the coverage of the health care items and services.


Sec. 122. Essential Benefits Package Defined.[edit]

(a) In General.—
In this division, the term ``essential benefits package´´ means health benefits coverage, consistent with standards adopted under section 124 to ensure the provision of quality health care and financial security, that—
(1) provides payment for the items and services described in subsection (b) in accordance with generally accepted standards of medical or other appropriate clinical or professional practice;
(2) limits cost-sharing for such covered health care items and services in accordance with such benefit standards, consistent with subsection (c);
(3) does not impose any annual or lifetime limit on the coverage of covered health care items and services;
(4) complies with section 115(a) (relating to network adequacy); and
(5) is equivalent, as certified by Office of the Actuary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, to the average prevailing employer-sponsored coverage.
(b) Minimum Services to be Covered.—
The items and services described in this subsection are the following:
(1) Hospitalization.
(2) Outpatient hospital and outpatient clinic services, including emergency department services.
(3) Professional services of physicians and other health professionals.
(4) Such services, equipment, and supplies incident to the services of a physician’s or a health professional’s delivery of care in institutional settings, physician offices, patients’ homes or place of residence, or other settings, as appropriate.
(5) Prescription drugs.
(6) Rehabilitative and habilitative services.
(7) Mental health and substance use disorder services.
(8) Preventive services, including those services recommended with a grade of A or B by the Task Force on Clinical Preventive Services and those vaccines recommended for use by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
(9) Maternity care.
(10) Well baby and well child care and oral health, vision, and hearing services, equipment, and supplies at least for children under 21 years of age.
(c) Requirements Relating to Cost-sharing and Minimum Actuarial Value.—
(1) No Cost-sharing for Preventive Services.—
There shall be no cost-sharing under the essential benefits package for preventive items and services (as specified under the benefit standards), including well baby and well child care.
(2) Annual Limitation.—
(A) Annual Limitation.—
The cost-sharing incurred under the essential benefits package with respect to an individual (or family) for a year does not exceed the applicable level specified in subparagraph (B).
(B) Applicable Level.—
The applicable level specified in this subparagraph for Y1 is $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a family. Such levels shall be increased (rounded to the nearest $100) for each subsequent year by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (United States city average) applicable to such year.
(C) Use of Copayments.—
In establishing cost-sharing levels for basic, enhanced, and premium plans under this subsection, the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent possible, use only copayments and not coinsurance.
(3) Minimum Actuarial Value.—
(A) In General.—
The cost-sharing under the essential benefits package shall be designed to provide a level of coverage that is designed to provide benefits that are actuarially equivalent to approximately 70 percent of the full actuarial value of the benefits provided under the reference benefits package described in subparagraph (B).
(B) Reference Benefits Package Described.—
The reference benefits package described in this subparagraph is the essential benefits package if there were no cost-sharing imposed.


Sec. 123. Health Benefits Advisory Committee.[edit]

(a) Establishment.—
(1) In General.—
There is established a private-public advisory committee which shall be a panel of medical and other experts to be known as the Health Benefits Advisory Committee to recommend covered benefits and essential, enhanced, and premium plans.
(2) Chair.—
The Surgeon General shall be a member and the chair of the Health Benefits Advisory Committee.
(3) Membership.—
The Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall be composed of the following members, in addition to the Surgeon General:
(A) 9 members who are not Federal employees or officers and who are appointed by the President.
(B) 9 members who are not Federal employees or officers and who are appointed by the Comptroller General of the United States in a manner similar to the manner in which the Comptroller General appoints members to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission under section 1805(c) of the Social Security Act.
(C) Such even number of members (not to exceed 8) who are Federal employees and officers, as the President may appoint.
Such initial appointments shall be made not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(4) Terms.—
Each member of the Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall serve a 3-year term on the Committee, except that the terms of the initial members shall be adjusted in order to provide for a staggered term of appointment for all such members.
(5) Participation.—
The membership of the Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall at least reflect providers, consumer representatives, employers, labor, health insurance issuers, experts in health care financing and delivery, experts in racial and ethnic disparities, experts in care for those with disabilities, representatives of relevant governmental agencies. and at least one practicing physician or other health professional and an expert on children’s health and shall represent a balance among various sectors of the health care system so that no single sector unduly influences the recommendations of such Committee.
(b) Duties.—
(1) Recommendations on Benefit Standards.—
The Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall recommend to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (in this subtitle referred to as the ``Secretary´´) benefit standards (as defined in paragraph (4)), and periodic updates to such standards. In developing such recommendations, the Committee shall take into account innovation in health care and consider how such standards could reduce health disparities.
(2) Deadline.—
The Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall recommend initial benefit standards to the Secretary not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(3) Public Input.—
The Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall allow for public input as a part of developing recommendations under this subsection.
(4) Benefit Standards Defined.—
In this subtitle, the term ``benefit standards´´ means standards respecting—
(A) the essential benefits package described in section 122, including categories of covered treatments, items and services within benefit classes, and cost-sharing; and
(B) the cost-sharing levels for enhanced plans and premium plans (as provided under section 203(c)) consistent with paragraph (5).
(5) Levels of Cost-sharing for Enhanced and Premium Plans.—
(A) Enhanced Plan.—
The level of cost-sharing for enhanced plans shall be designed so that such plans have benefits that are actuarially equivalent to approximately 85 percent of the actuarial value of the benefits provided under the reference benefits package described in section 122(c)(3)(B).
(B) Premium Plan.—
The level of cost-sharing for premium plans shall be designed so that such plans have benefits that are actuarially equivalent to approximately 95 percent of the actuarial value of the benefits provided under the reference benefits package described in section 122(c)(3)(B).
(c) Operations.—
(1) Per Diem Pay.—
Each member of the Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in accordance with applicable provisions under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, and shall otherwise serve without additional pay.
(2) Members Not Treated as Federal Employees.—
Members of the Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall not be considered employees of the Federal government solely by reason of any service on the Committee.
(3) Application of FACA.—
The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), other than section 14, shall apply to the Health Benefits Advisory Committee.
(d) Publication.—
The Secretary shall provide for publication in the Federal Register and the posting on the Internet website of the Department of Health and Human Services of all recommendations made by the Health Benefits Advisory Committee under this section.


Sec. 124. Process for Adoption of Recommendations; Adoption of Benefit Standards.[edit]

(a) Process for Adoption of Recommendations.—
(1) Review of recommended standards.—
Not later than 45 days after the date of receipt of benefit standards recommended under section 123 (including such standards as modified under paragraph (2)(B)), the Secretary shall review such standards and shall determine whether to propose adoption of such standards as a package.
(2) Determination to Adopt Standards.—
If the Secretary determines—
(A) to propose adoption of benefit standards so recommended as a package, the Secretary shall, by regulation under section 553 of title 5, United States Code, propose adoption such standards; or
(B) not to propose adoption of such standards as a package, the Secretary shall notify the Health Benefits Advisory Committee in writing of such determination and the reasons for not proposing the adoption of such recommendation and provide the Committee with a further opportunity to modify its previous recommendations and submit new recommendations to the Secretary on a timely basis.
(3) Contingency.—
If, because of the application of paragraph (2)(B), the Secretary would otherwise be unable to propose initial adoption of such recommended standards by the deadline specified in subsection (b)(1), the Secretary shall, by regulation under section 553 of title 5, United States Code, propose adoption of initial benefit standards by such deadline.
(4) Publication.—
The Secretary shall provide for publication in the Federal Register of all determinations made by the Secretary under this subsection.
(b) Adoption of Standards.—
(1) Initial standards.—
Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall, through the rulemaking process consistent with subsection (a), adopt an initial set of benefit standards.
(2) Periodic Updating Standards.—
Under subsection (a), the Secretary shall provide for the periodic updating of the benefit standards previously adopted under this section.
(3) Requirement.—
The Secretary may not adopt any benefit standards for an essential benefits package or for level of cost-sharing that are inconsistent with the requirements for such a package or level under sections 122 and 123(b)(5).