Essential Health Benefits Bulletin Bolsters OT’s Role in Health Care Reform
The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) released their Essentials Health Benefits Bulletin on Friday, December 16. As part of health care reform, HHS was tasked by Congress to determine the types of services and care that will be included in state-based health insurance exchanges. The HHS bulletin is not a final regulation, but a plan that urges comments and feedback.
Advocacy from the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) was successful in ensuring that occupational therapy is mentioned in the bulletin in every section related to the rehabilitation and habilitation category. Another victory—and a possible new opportunity for occupational therapy practitioners—is the linking of habilitation with rehabilitation for the purpose of future coverage of habilitative services. Currently many insurance plans do not cover habilitative services, but occupational therapy’s inclusion in the essential health benefits will create more opportunities for clients to receive occupational therapy that is habilitative in nature.
AOTA will continue to review the bulletin and will provide comments to HHS. View the HHS Essential Health Benefits Bulletin here.
For all AOTA resource on health care reform, visit the health care reform hub.