As part of its “benchmark” health care plan to satisfy ObamaCare’s requirement of the establishment of Essential Health Benefits (EHB’s) in each state, the state of New York has requested that annual doctor visit limits be substituted for lifetime and annual dollar limits in health care plans.
States had until October 1, 2012 to choose an existing health care plan to serve as the minimum “benchmark” plan that would contain the EHB’s as required by ObamaCare. President Obama’s signature health care law gives HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sole authority to determine the EHB’s for the insurance plans in the state health insurance exchanges. The most controversial EHB to date is the “HHS Mandate,” which requires all employers to provide contraception, sterilization procedures, and abortion-inducing drugs, free of charge, to their employees.
In its letter to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMMS), the state of New York wrote:
Removal of Annual/Lifetime Dollar Limits – New York State awaits further federal guidance on the process for substituting dollar limits on benefits with actuarially equivalent quantitative limits (e.g., annual visit limits).
If ObamaCare is not repealed, millions of currently uninsured people will be sent into the state exchanges to purchase health insurance, or pay the “tax” as the Supreme Court defined it. The sheer numbers of new patients alone will make for longer waiting times to get in to see doctors. In addition, as many businesses find it is too costly to offer health insurance benefits to their employees, these individuals, and their families, will also be sent into the exchanges. Finally, as New York, and perhaps other states, are granted permission by HHS to make annual doctor visit limits part of their EHB package, the number of visits will be carefully monitored, leading to an even greater rationing of health care.
ObamaCare is gradually setting up a two-class system of health care access in this country. Only the very wealthy will be able to obtain the types of treatments and access to health care that many Americans have enjoyed in the past. Everyone else…well, just take a check and wait in line.