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September 25, 2012—The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, the Habilitation Benefits Coalition, the Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation, and the Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid Coalition, released a technical assistance document that aims to be a resource for states in designing essential health benefits packages for “rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices,” as defined by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The purpose is to help states take appropriate measures to implement the ACA reforms in a manner that “eliminate[s] decision-making based on health status in the individual and small group markets, which disproportionately impacts people with disabilities and chronic conditions.”

The document includes: explanations and definitions of rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; recommendations on enhancing state benchmark plans to meet essential health benefits and requirements; information on incorporating state mandates and establishing limits on rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; and an evaluation chart to assist states in their assessment of benchmark plan coverage for rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices. Nathan Moon, PhD, Associate Director for Research at the Center for Advanced Communications Policy (CACP) at the Georgia Institute of Technology led the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) Government Affairs Committee that contributed expertise in revising the final document.

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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00. The opinions contained in this website are those of the Wireless RERC and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or NIDILRR.