The Affordable Care Act ensures Americans have access to quality, affordable health insurance.  To achieve this goal, the law ensures plans offered in the new Affordable Insurance Exchanges offer a package of essential health benefits, which are to be defined by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The statute directs the Secretary to consider the scope of benefits provided under a typical employer plan in defining essential health benefits.  To inform the Department, HHS received a survey of employer-sponsored coverage conducted by the Department of Labor as well as recommendations from the Institute of Medicine on the criteria and methods for defining and updating essential health benefits.

HHS is committed to receiving broad public input on essential health benefits from all stakeholders, including States, patients, providers, employers, legislators, insurers, and all other interested Americans.

To that end, we are pleased to invite you to comment sessions for regional, state, and local stakeholders on essential health benefits.  Senior HHS officials will be in attendance to listen to stakeholder feedback.

If you plan to attend the session, we ask that you consider these questions in preparing your comments:

·      In keeping with the title of the Institute of Medicine report “Essential Health Benefits—Balancing Coverage and Cost”, how can the Department best meet the dual goals of balancing the comprehensiveness of coverage included in essential health benefits and affordability?

·      How might the Department ensure that essential health benefits reflect an appropriate balance among the categories so that they are not unduly weighted toward any category?

·      What policy principles and criteria should be taken into account to prevent discrimination against individuals because of their age, disability status, or expected length of life as the Affordable Care Act requires?

·      What models should HHS consider in developing essential health benefits?

·      What criteria should be used to update essential health benefits over time and what should the process be for their modification?

To register for the event, please send an email with your name, organization, title, email address and phone number to the designated RSVP by the RSVP Due Date. (NOTE: In some locations, RSVPs are needed for building security and will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis)

If you have any questions regarding this meeting, please contact Brian Chiglinsky, HHS Office of External Affairs at 202.619.1066 or

BOSTON – November 8th1pm to 3PMJohn F. Kennedy Federal Building15 New Sudbury St., Conference Room

2075 (20th Floor)

Boston, MA 02203

RSVP by November 4th

ATLANTA – November 16th10am to 12pm61 Forsyth St. SW, Suite 5B95Atlanta, GA 30303-8909

RSVP by November 14th

PHILADELPHIA – November 8th10am to 12pmPublic Ledger Building, 150 S., 419Philadelphia, PA 19106

RSVP by November 2nd

SEATTLE – November 17th2pm to 5pmJackson Federal Building915 2nd Avenue

South Auditorium

Seattle, WA

DALLAS – November 9th10am to 12pmCenter for Community Cooperation, 2900Live Oak Street

Dallas, TX 75204

RSVP by November 4th

DENVER – November 18th9am to 12pm999 18thStreetSouth Terrace, Suite 400

Denver, CO

RSVP by November 10th

NEW YORK – November 14th10am to 12pm26 Federal Plaza, Suite 3835New York, New York 10278

RSVP by November 9th

SAN FRANCISCO – November 21st3pm to 5pm90 Seventh Street, Suite 5-100San Francisco, CA 94103


KANSAS CITY – November 15th10am to 12pmBolling Federal Office Building8th Floor SSA Conference Room

601 E. 12th Street

Kansas City, MO 64106

RSVP by November 10th