What are Essential Health Benefits (EHBs)?

In the simplest of terms: Essential Health Benefits (EHBs) are the health care services that most health plans across the country must cover: services like pregnancy, maternity and newborn care; preventive and wellness care; emergency services; doctor visits; mental health and substance use disorder services, children’s vision and oral care, and more. 

Essential Health Benefits (EHBs)
are the health care services that almost all insurance plans across the country are required to cover.

Despite the good intentions when this policy was developed 12 years ago, it has become clear that the benefits covered within insurance plans are not as comprehensive as intended.

The fight for health justice requires that we honestly assess what needs to change to make health a right for all — and to work towards that change every day. When it comes to minimum standards of coverage, or EHBs, making progress requires that we work to make EHB standards stronger so that the quality of health coverage improves for all people, whether they get health insurance through Marketplaces, their employer-sponsored plan, or programs like Medicaid.

Here are some EHBs inequities and inconsistencies the Biden administration must address

As more people come to count on EHB coverage standards, the Biden administration can build on its commitment to advancing health equity by improving benefits to ensure coverage allows everyone to get the care they want and need — without going into debt.