I’ve previously written about the importance of orthotics and prosthetics being included in the essential health benefits package in all fifty states. I wanted to highlight to OPGA members that the state of Utah is holding public hearings this week (the first state to do so) to determine what should be included in their essential benefits package to be included in their already setup state-based health exchange. Utah has been a pioneer of sorts with the state-based health exchange concept, an online portal similar to priceline.com where consumers can go to view their subside level and determine which health plan presents them the best option. Utah had already setup a health exchange for small group insurance when Obamacare passed, so they are far ahead of many other states in the planning phase.
No matter how the Supreme Court rules later this month, the state-based health exchange concept is likely to be adopted by many states looking to bring down health costs. On the other hand, if the Supreme Court upholds the controversial health care law, state-based health exchanges will be required in all fifty states with subsides available to those with incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level; if states choose to drag their feet and not comply with the law, the federal government will come in and setup an exchange for them.
So, the importance of getting orthotics and prosthetics included in the Utah essential health benefits package, the minimum plan that can be sold on the health exchanges, cannot be understated.
The hearing this week will be almost exclusively devoted to public comment and will run Tuesday from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in room 210 of the Senate Building at the state Capitol complex.
It will also be broadcast live online and at locations across the state — Blanding, Cedar City, Logan, Ogden, Orem, Price, St. George, Tooele and Vernal — where participants can submit comments.
Comments can also be sent to LRammell@Le.Utah.gov through July 3, 2012.
Please contact OPGA with any questions regarding messaging for your comments. In general, we need to talk about the importance of access to artificial limbs as a way to provide function and give people their lives back so they can return to being contributing members of society. We must also talk about the amazing advances in technology in the profession and the importance of quality practitioners in saving state budgets money in the long run by creating better patient outcomes. MORE