ILLINOIS: The Health Care Reform Implementation Council met last week to hear testimony on the state’s essential health benefits package. The council has yet to determine a benchmark plan, but the state announced that if it cannot agree on the benchmark plan by the end of the month its default will be Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Advantage PPO. The state also announced it will have an actuarial value of the plan and that it will not control modifying benefit categories. For example, if the plan covers prenatal care, insurers can make changes within a benefit category as long as the value is equal to the benchmark. The State has yet to put forth the analysis prepared by Wakely Consulting of the 10 Illinois plans it evaluated and the value of benefits used to create those plans. Aetna presented testimony at the hearing.