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Medical Health concept The CMS suggests that wider access to these services could have an impact in preventing other conditions, helping to offset any additional direct claim cost in future savings. (Image: Chris Nicholls/ALM)

It’s not often that a state’s standard submission of a benchmark plan for federal approval would be newsworthy. But recently, Colorado’s benchmark plan, which will take effect on January 1, 2023, seriously raised the bar, establishing various services as essential health benefits (EHBs) which would often not be covered at all. State benchmark plans are used to determine what benefits are considered EHBs in a given state – the ACA defines broad categories of EHBs, but these plans are what issuers in a given market look to for more detail on what specific services need to be given the various protections this status affords.

Related: Hawaii asks health plans for more transparency on gender transition benefits

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