The Obama administration has ruled that certain health benefits must be offered by most health care providers by next year. 32 million people will be able to gain access to mental health care coverage. The new ruling will provide the insured with coverage for treatment of mental and behavioral disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, and even others. Kathleen Sebelius (sec. of health and human services) said that about 30 million people will see improved health care benefits. The White House wants to expand coverage. Previously, about 20% of people did not have mental health coverage and about 33% did not have substance abuse coverage. Sebelius says that consumers will be able to more easily compare health plans. She said, "it is difficult for consumers to make well-informed choices because benefits, deductibles, co-payments, and other features vary widely among competing health plans." Minimum benefits will vary by the states, depending on specific employers. States can even add extra benefits to plans, but the costs will have to be covered by the states themselves. Costs will be limited to consumers in several specific ways. States will be accountable for enforcing the new laws and standards. The federal government will intercede if needed. Under the new rule, dental care and vision services for children will be covered.
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