It'll be another two years before uninsured people can buy health care coverage through the federal Affordable Care Act, but Illinois is getting close to deciding what will be covered by those plans come 2014. In two years, small businesses and the uninsured will be able to choose from a variety of plans, ranging from expensive, platinum ones to more basic options. But first Illinois needs to set a benchmark, spelling out what benefits must be covered, at a minimum. Larry Barry, with the Illinois Life Insurance Council, says the state has to be careful not to set the bar too high:
"If you add on to that too comprehensive of a package, you've going to have great packages for individuals, you're going to have great packages out there for small employers, it is going to be a package that no one can afford."
But all kinds of medical providers want to be covered, like occupational therapists, acupuncturists, and substance abuse treatment providers. Although it'll be years before individuals and small businesses will have access to the plans, Illinois only has until the end of THIS month to forward its recommendation to the federal government.
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