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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: March 31, 2023 03:54 PM
From: Senator Vincent J. Hughes and Sen. Timothy P. Kearney, Sen. Lisa M. Boscola, Sen. James R. Brewster, Sen. Amanda M. Cappelletti, Sen. Maria Collett, Sen. Carolyn T. Comitta, Sen. Jay Costa, Sen. Jimmy Dillon, Sen. Marty Flynn, Sen. Wayne D. Fontana, Sen. Art Haywood, Sen. John I. Kane, Sen. Nick Miller, Sen. Katie J. Muth, Sen. Steven J. Santarsiero, Sen. Nikil Saval, Sen. Judith L. Schwank, Sen. Sharif Street, Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione, Sen. Anthony H. Williams, Sen. Lindsey M. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Protecting the Essential Health Benefits for Insurance Policies sold in Pennsylvania
In the near future, we will be re-introducing Senate Bill 51 which proposes codifying the federal essential health benefits (EHB) into state law.  The attacks on many of the vital foundations of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continue.  A recent ruling by a Federal judge in Texas (Braidwood Management Inc., et al., v. Xavier Becerra, et al.) nullified the preventative screening services included in the federal EHB nationwide.  Unfortunately, the Texas ruling reenforces the importance of codifying EHB into state law.

Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposed EHB, three in five people had an insurance policy that did not provide maternity coverage and one in three policies did not cover substance abuse treatment. 

Under our proposal, the ten EHB currently covered by the ACA would be placed into state law. By enshrining these protections in state law, we will safeguard these vital benefits in insurance policies sold in Pennsylvania regardless of future court challenges and changes in Federal administrations.  The benefits our legislation would cover includes:
  • ambulatory patient services;
  • emergency services;
  • hospitalization;
  • maternity and newborn care;
  • mental health and substance use disorder services including behavioral health treatment;
  • prescription drugs;
  • rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices;
  • laboratory services;
  • preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and
  • pediatric services, including oral and vision care.
Please join us in protecting our constituents and ensuring they continue to have access to quality healthcare policies.

If you have any questions, please contact our office.  

Introduced as SB51