KEY RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE IOM COMMITTEE ON DEFINING AND REVISING AN ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS PACKAGE FOR QUALIFIED HEALTH PLANS.*
1. The secretary of health and human services should establish an essential health benefits (EHB) package including the 10 categories contained in the Affordable Care Act and as guided by a national average premium target. Once developed, the package should be adjusted so that the expected national average premium for a “silver” (second-lowest-price) plan is actuarially equivalent to the average premium small employers would have paid in 2014 for a typical plan. A public deliberative process should be used to make adjustments to the initial EHB package.
2. By January 2013, the secretary should establish a framework for monitoring EHB implementation and updating that accounts for changes in provider payment rates, financial incentives, practice organizations, and other relevant matters. The secretary should implement this framework and coordinate federal efforts to produce and make the data accessible for public use.
3. Beginning in 2015, the secretary should update the EHB package to make it more fully evidence-based, specific, and value-promoting — explicitly incorporating costs. A public deliberative process should be used to inform choices about what to include in or exclude from the updated package.
4. The secretary should permit states administering their own exchanges to adopt variants of the federal EHB package, provided that modifications are consistent with the federal package, not significantly more or less generous, and are subject to public input.
5. The secretary should establish a National Benefits Advisory Council, with members appointed through a nonpartisan process, which should make recommendations annually stemming from its oversight of the EHB package.
6. To ensure that the EHB-defined packages remain affordable and sustainable, the secretary should develop a strategy, in collaboration with others, for aligning the growth rate of health care spending in all sectors with that of the economy.
* Summarized from the Institute of Medicine Committee report.1