Obama gives states control over healthcare benefit levels

US Healthcare ReformThe Obama administration has announced that it has shifted the power from the federal government to the states themselves in deciding the level of medical benefits that will be required for coverage by insurance companies beginning in 2014.

The purpose of this move was to help to eliminate the chance that there would be a clash between the states and the federal government regarding a foundational element of the new healthcare overhaul.

The new regulation means that state leaders will hold more control over the limits for health insurance even as it works to uphold a guarantee by the federal government that states that all Americans – even those with pre-existing conditions – will be able to obtain coverage.

According to the head of the National Academy for State Health Policy, Alan Weil, “This is significantly more state-flexible and friendly than many would have expected.”

What is still uncertain, though, is if the efforts of the Obama administration to give the states the responsibility of this part of the new healthcare law will help to make implementation easier or whether it will simply help the federal government to keep its rising costs under control; an issue that is currently a major struggle in the healthcare overhaul.

To conform with the new law, all of the states must have established internet-based health insurance exchanges by 2014, so that individuals who are not receiving coverage through their workplace will be able to effectively comparison shop for the policy that will provide them with the most appropriate coverage at the best price.

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