The acting OPM director Beth Cobert wrote a blog post and tweeted yesterday about OPM’s decision to mandate FEHB coverage of applied behavioral analysis for children on the autism spectrum for 2017.  If you are interested in this expansion of coverage, take a look at these OPM FAQs.

Mid-week, the ACA regulators finalized the summary of benefits and coverage template that will be used in the 2018 FEHBP open season. Prof. Tim Jost provides his detailed assessment of the new SBC here.

In other follow up points —

  • Healthcare Dive reports that the doctor shortage in the U.S. is real. What’s more telehealth is not going to fill the gap by itself because the shortage is particularly striking in surgical specialties. 
  • According to Employee Benefit News, the Congressional Budget Office projects that “In 2016, most Americans between the ages of 18 and 65 will get their health insurance from their employer—and they will get it for less because the federal government will give them tax breaks to the tune of $266 billion.” This large number causes many economists to pine for the 40% high cost plan excise tax, a/k/a the Cadillac tax. But rather than follow through on that insanely complicated and counter-productive tax, Congress could reduce tax exclusion for high wage earners which is what already happens to small business owners.