First, there was the delay of Obamacare’s Medicare cuts until after the election. Then there was the delay of the law’s employer mandate. Then there was the announcement, buried in theFederal Register, that the administration would delay enforcement of a number of key eligibility requirements for the law’s health insurance subsidies, relying on the “honor system” instead. Now comes word that another costly provision of the health law—its caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs—will be delayed for one more year.
Obamacare contains a blizzard of mandates and regulations that will make health insurance more costly. One of the most significant is its caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs, such as co-pays and deductibles. Section 2707(b) of the Public Health Service Act, as added by Obamacare, requires that “a group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage may not establish lifetime limits on the dollar value of benefits for the any participant or beneficiary.” Annual limits on cost-sharing are specified by Section 1302(c) of the Affordable Care Act; in addition, starting in 2014, deductibles are limited to $2,000 per year for individual plans, and $4,000 per year for family plans.
Insurers need not set limits on out-of-pocket expenses
WASHINGTON — In another setback for President Obama’s health care initiative, the administration has delayed until 2015 a significant consumer protection in the law that limits how much people may have to spend on their own health care.
Sebelius: ‘This Is Not A Bait-And-Switch’
Major health insurance companies have decided not to participate in various states in the Obamacare health-insurance exchanges.. Blue Cross, Aet
– Major health insurance companies–Blue Cross, Aetna, United, Humana–have decided not to participate in various states in the Obamacare health-insurance exchanges that will be the only place Americans will be able to buy a health insurance plan using the federal subsidies authorized under the Obamacare law.
Aetna, a fortune 100 company with $34.2 billion in revenue, has pulled out of the government-run exchanges in three states, including the state of Connecticut, where it is based.
Founded in Hartford, Conn., in 1850, Aetna withdrew its application to participate in that state on Monday, the Hartford Courant reported. The company said it was withdrawing from there and in Georgia and Maryland because limitations the state governments would impose on their rates would not allow them to make money.
“We have spent considerable time identifying those states in which we can be competitive and add the most value to the market,” Aetna said in a statement. “As a result of our analysis, we have reluctantly concluded that we will withdraw certain Individual Exchange filings for 2014, including filings in Connecticut, Georgia and Maryland.”
“This is not a step taken lightly, and was made as part of a national review of our Exchange strategy,” the company said. “Unfortunately, we believe the modifications to the rates filed by Aetna will not allow us to collect enough premiums to cover the cost of the plans and meet the service expectations of our customers.”
Aetna will also not participate in California’s exchange, and a spokesperson told CNSNews.com that the company never intended to do so.
“We did not
withdraw exchange plans in California, as we never planned participation nor filed [Qualified Health Plans] QHPs to participate in the California exchange,” a spokesperson said.
Anthem Blue Cross has withdrawn its bid to participate in the California’s government-run Obamacare exchange marketing insurance to small businesses.
United Health Group, the largest health insurer in the United States, has taken a pass on California’s individual health insurance exchange.
Aetna will stop selling health insurance policies to individuals in California all together, leaving nearly 50,000 existing individual policyholders to find new coverage by January. The company will continue to directly sell health insurance to employers in California–outside of the government exchange system.
‘If You Like Your Doctor,’ Hope Your Insurer Is Participating in the Exchange
“No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period,” Obama said on June 15, 2009.
“If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period,” he said. “No one will take it away
Tags: Group Health Plan, Federal Register, Nytimes, Honor System, Health Care Initiative