Gov. Robert Bentley Monday said he would not implement a provision of the Affordable Care Act that would establish minimum benefits for those buying individual or small group policies starting in 2014.
In his letter to Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Bentley wrote that the federal government had not given the states guidance on what to implement and had not provided support for health insurance savings accounts.
“I contend that the law does not make health insurance affordable and negatively affects consumer choice,” Bentley wrote in the letter. “Health savings accounts provide what the Affordable Care Act does not: a consumer-oriented, marketplace-driven option for health coverage.”
According to Kaiser Health News, 16 states and the District of Columbia have made their decisions, with another 16 expected to do so in the remaining weeks. The news agency also reports that if a state does not make a decision, “the benchmark will be the largest small group plan in the state.”
The Kaiser Family Foundation reported in 2011 that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama has approximately 96 percent of the policies in the small group market.
– posted by Brian Lyman