New AMA policy opposes removing ACA essential health benefits

The American Medical Association is showing its support for the ACA's essential health benefits.

Under the health law, insurers must cover 10 categories of services known as essential health benefits, such as prescription drugs, pregnancy and childbirth, and mental health services.

The AMA said via news release it recently voted to oppose weakening or removing any of the essential health benefits. The vote took place at the group's Interim Meeting.

With the vote, the AMA said it has adopted a new policy indicating the group will oppose the removal of categories of essential health benefits. The group will also oppose "waivers of EHB requirements that lead to EHB categories and their associated protections against annual and lifetime limits, and out-of-pocket expenses, being eliminated."

In response to the vote, AMA President David Barbe, MD, called essential health benefits "fundamental components of health insurance coverage."

"Removing any categories from the EHB requirements, or allowing waivers of such requirements, could make individuals vulnerable to significant out-of-pocket expenses, or hinder patient access to necessary services," he added.

The AMA said physicians at the Interim Meeting also expressed their support for reinsurance programs to subsidize costs for high-cost and high-risk patients.



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