Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 1, 2012

W.Va. raises more question about health care law

Associated Press

CHARLESTON — West Virginia is questioning another major provision of the federal health care overhaul.

The federal law calls on states to set basic levels of services that insurance policies must cover. The overhaul requires 10 basic categories of services. They include prescription drugs and maternity care.

But West Virginia officials say they need more information before they can set benefit level benchmarks.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin wrote U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday. Tomblin’s letter cites the lack of final federal rules for these essential health benefits. It also notes that federal officials have yet to answer West Virginia’s questions about expanding Medicaid. Tomblin quizzed Sebelius regarding that provision of the health care law in July.

Friday’s letter poses seven additional questions addressing essential health benefits.