HHS details overhaul rules and required benefits

by Tom Murphy

The Obama administration is strengthening the prescription drug coverage that will be available to the millions of people who will start getting insurance through the nation's health care overhaul.

The Health and Human Services Department announced Tuesday a long-awaited package of rules, such as minimum requirements for and a ban on denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

Under the rules, there will be a higher number of prescription drugs covered in each class of drugs, such as or antidepressants, than has previously been required.

Once made final, the rules will govern the operation of new health insurance marketplaces, called exchanges, that will debut in 2014.

The baseline for minimum coverage includes inpatient and outpatient care, emergency services, and maternity and childhood care.

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