by Katherine Restrepo
Director of Health Care Policy, John Locke Foundation
It doesn’t happen often when state legislators can loosen up health care regulations without the federal government stepping in. Examples include repealing Certificate of Need laws and allowing nurse practitioners to care for patients within the bounds of their training without physician supervision. Enacting both policies frees patients from being tied to higher health care costs and limited access to care.
Today’s Triangle Business Journal mentions another regulation which lawmakers ought to consider scaling back on to make health insurance more affordable – state-based health insurance mandates.
You’re probably familiar that Obamacare, the federal health law, mandates that all insurance companies cover ten minimum essential health benefits in all plans that they sell. The requirement that carriers must cover more health services only makes plans more expensive over time, since this drives consumer utilization – especially if consumers are shielded from a majority of the actual cost of such services, such as preventative care, prenatal care, or pediatric dental and vision.
But these ten benefits pale by comparison to North Carolina’s 56 health coverage mandates it forces insurance companies to extend to their policyholders. Enabling insurers to decide for themselves which benefits to cover in their products will make for a more competitive health insurance landscape and has the potential to provide consumers with more cost-effective choices.
For more details about why ‘North Carolina Lawmakers Don’t Like Obamcare’s Mandates, But They Like Their Own’, read more here.