June 02, 2015
On May 19, 2015, the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner issued an emergency rule designating the state’s benchmark plan for plan year 2017. The emergency rule was necessary to comply with the federal government’s June 1 deadline for designating a base benchmark plan. The base benchmark plan sets the essential health benefits packages that are available in the nongrandfathered individual and small group health insurance market within a particular state. The services and items covered within the plan include: ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services (including behavioral health treatment, prescription drugs, rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices), laboratory services, preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management and pediatric services, including oral and vision care, plus state-mandated benefits enacted before Dec. 31, 2011. While employers are not required to purchase or enroll in the base benchmark plan, it is recommended that employers familiarize themselves with the benefits available under the benchmark plan, as other plans subject to the essential health benefits requirement must offer benefits substantially equal to the benefits offered by the benchmark plan.
Emergency Rule »