The AAOS believes everyone within the United States should have access to quality health care coverage – including specialty care – without financial barriers or undue burdens placed on the patient or physician. The responsibility of financing appropriate health care services must be a shared public-private cooperative effort that advances a patient-centered model for choosing affordable health care options. All insurance coverage options must be portable and affordable to provide optimal access and continuity of quality health care. Further, individuals should to be able to choose a health plan with the benefits, providers, and patient costsharing arrangements of their choice.
It is important that policymakers ensure that health plans over basic health care benefits, including access to specialty care, while avoiding the temptation to impose excessive mandates that drive up the cost of medical insurance. This will ensure that basic health care needs are met, while giving health plan enrollees greater choices and flexibility. The AAOS believes that it is appropriate to establish a minimum benefit package for private health care plans – at the federal and/or state level – but would caution policy makers to ensure that essential health care needs are met, including access to specialty care, and that the cost of a basic health care plan remains affordable.