Obamacare: Infertility Treatments, Massage Care ‘Essential’ Covered Services in Some States

Health insurance plans being set up in Kansas under President Obama’s health care law will have to cover infertility treatments, but those in Arkansas and Colorado won’t.

Maryland plans must cover weight-loss surgery, while those in Michigan have to pay for chiropractic care. Oregon plans won’t be forced to cover either of those – officials there say that covering such procedures would make premiums too expensive for most residents.

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have laid out what they consider to be the minimum coverage that must be made available to those obtaining insurance through small employers or the new state-based exchanges under the federal health care law.


Those states are grappling with the edges of medical care, debating whether infertility treatments, visits to chiropractors and time with massage therapists are considered “essential” in 21st-century medicine.

The law called for states to set rules for health care plans offered by small employers and plans offered under the state health care exchanges, where those without insurance will be able to shop for plans. The rules don’t apply to companies with 50 or more employees because those plans tend to already include a large range of benefits.

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