Health coverage required minimum to be set by states

The Obama Administration said it'll give individual states a major role in determining the minimum benefits health insurers must provide under the federal health care law in 2014.

The Department of Health and Human Services will set a basic framework for what insurers must cover, but states will fill in the details. There is wide variation in the treatments and procedures that states require insurers to cover.

A statement from State Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said the move "will provide Minnesota flexibility to ensure health plans sold in Minnesota meet the unique demands of Minnesota's consumers, economy, and health care system."

The proposal is still being reviewed by the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, the trade group representing the state's health insurers.

"Determining the careful balance between affordability and comprehensiveness of coverage is critical, and should be informed by employer choices in the current market," read a statement from Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota Vice President Scott Keefer. Continuing, it read "In determining this benchmark, our hope is that the State talk directly with businesses and individuals across the State to better understand what benefits would have the greatest impact on health, and at a price within reach."