A state panel has made a recommendation on which health insurance plan will set the benchmark for coverage plans on an insurance exchange mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act.  The Health Care Reform Implementation Council is recommending Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Illinois’ Blue Advantage Small Group Plan serve as the benchmark.
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The Blue Cross plan doesn’t cover pediatric vision and pediatric dental, which is required by federal law. The council is supplementing with Illinois’ All Kids for pediatric dental and Federal Blue Vision for pediatric vision.  There were 10 plans to consider and the council tried to strike a balance among four main goals: a plan that covered state mandates, minimized disruption to the market, is comprehensive and doesn’t threaten affordability of coverage.
The recommendation now heads to the federal secretary of health and human services for review. The council is still working on setting up the exchange, which is supposed to open by late 2013 with health care plans effective 2014.
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