Illinois Sets Benchmark for Health Coverage

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) -- Illinois has chosen a Blue Cross Blue Shield small group policy as the benchmark plan for essential health benefits in the state, another milestone in implementing President Barack Obama's health care law.

Friday's decision comes from Gov. Pat Quinn's health care council. It will determine the cost of future premiums and how broad coverage will be for many patients. Policies sold in Illinois must match the actuarial value of the benchmark plan.

The Blue Advantage plan is one of the leaner small group health policies sold in Illinois. It doesn't cover acupuncture, for example.

The health law set ten basic categories that must be covered by health plans, such as emergency services, prescription drugs and maternity care.

Within those categories, states determine a basic level of covered services and costs.

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