Connecticut will use its Medicaid program as the template for the essential benefits that must be covered by qualified health plans sold in the state health insurance exchange, the exchange’s board announced late last month.
The board also decided to expand the benefits beyond those offered in its ConnectiCare HMO, adding prescription drug coverage, pediatric dental and vision coverage, in vitro fertilization, and autism coverage. The exchange board predicted that about 180,000 Connecticut residents will purchase insurance through the exchange during its first three years of operation. The board also expects at least seven insurers will compete for customers in the exchange.
A selection of the benchmark plan is one of the key decisions states will have to make as they prepare for the opening of the exchanges in 2014. The benchmark plan will largely determine what benefits are available in the qualified health plans sold through exchanges in each state. More details on the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange are available on its website at http://www.ct.gov/hix/site/default.asp