United States Lactation Consultant Association
United States Lactation Consultant Association Announces
Essential Health Benefits Bulletin.
The Department of Health and Human Services intends to allow states to use existing health plans as benchmarks for benefits that must be offered by individual and small group health insurance plans inside or outside exchange markets that are to start in 2014 under the health reform law, the agency said in a bulletin issued December. 16. The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, part of HHS’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, issued the information bulletin as guidance, saying it intends to pursue a rulemaking on the essential health benefits (EHBs) that plans will be required to cover under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The benefits coverage provision applies to nongrandfathered plans that went into effect after PPACA was enacted March 23, 2010, as well as plans modeled on Medicaid benchmarks and Basic Health Plans that states can elect to create.
As you may know, under the Affordable Care Act, health insurers will be required to pay for a range of preventative care services specifically aimed at women. This includes, “Comprehensive lactation support and counseling, by a trained provider during pregnancy and/or in the postpartum period, and costs for renting breastfeeding equipment.” We have the opportunity to provide comments in response to the Essential Health Benefits Bulletin released on December 16, 2011, to urge the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take an active role to ensure that the Essential Health Benefits (EHB) are defined in accordance with the applicable statutory requirements. In particular, we need to urge HHS to issue guidance regarding the ten benefit categories set forth in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), including defining the “preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management” benefit category to include lactation consultant services provided by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs). It is very important that IBCLCs are specifically mentioned in this policy. Please consider personalizing the sample letter included here and following the instructions for where to send it. The deadline for comments is January 31. Help us get the IBCLC written into this important preventive care service.
Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC
Director of Public Policy
Mission: To build and sustain a national association that advocates for lactation professionals
Vision: IBCLCs are valued recognized members of the health care team.
The United States Lactation Consultant Association (ULSCA), is organized and shall be operated exclusively for the educational, charitable, and scientific purposes.