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Deadlines Loom in Health Plan Decision

A day after the primary elections, lawmakers were back at the statehouse discussing health insurance. At issue is what insurance companies will have to cover under the Affordable Care Act.

The ACA calls for states to select something called a private insurance Essential Health Benefit benchmark by September 30th. Simply put, lawmakers in Concord need to pick an insurance plan that will serve as a model for most other insurance plans offered in the state.

And they have less than three weeks to do it.

At Wednesday’s meeting, consultants showed lawmakers a slideshow detailing what would-- and would not--get covered under the various options. And they heard from members of the industry, like Stephanie Richardson of Harvard Pilgrim, about the need for quick answers.

 “So, I can appreciate this is a complex issue and I think it does warrant the discussion. I think there have been really fruitful questions and answers today, but the bottom line is, we are running out of time.”

The list of possible plans has been whittled down to three. Members of the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee will meet again next Wednesday to continue debate.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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