The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, will allow individuals and businesses to purchase health insurance directly through exchanges—competitive marketplaces where buyers can compare coverage. The plans offered in these exchanges must meet certain standards of care and cost sharing. To meet the standards, plans must provide certain "essential health benefits" in several categories ranging from prescription drug coverage to chronic disease management.
Details regarding the definition and extent of these benefits have yet to be determined. The Institute of Medicine (IOM), the branch of the National Academy of Sciences that is an advisor on the nation’s health issues, is undertaking a study that will make recommendations for determining and updating the essential health benefits package. To ensure that the concerns of the bleeding disorders community are taken into account, NHF, in collaboration with the American Plasma Users Coalition, has participated in a survey conducted by the IOM. NHF's responses emphasized the unique challenges faced by patients with bleeding and clotting disorders. In particular, NHF advocated for preserving access to specialized care and allowing medical professionals to determine the best treatments for patients. The IOM will review input from stakeholders before issuing recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.