Just this past Friday, HHS made another announcement regarding the addition of another 126 waivers to the already approved 914 waivers bringing the new total to over 1,000. For a program that was supposedly designed to have little impact on the businesses that offer insurance, it sure does seem to require a lot of free passes for the first year out of the box.
These waivers are being handed out as a way to have as little impact on the insurance market as possible… maybe the best way to accomplish that would be to make the whole damn boondoggle disappear!
From The Hill:
“In order to avoid disruption in the insurance market, the healthcare overhaul gives HHS the power to grant waivers to firms that cannot meet new annual coverage limits in 2011. The waivers have typically been granted to so-called “mini-med” plans that offer limited annual coverage — as low as $2,000 — that would fall short of meeting the new annual coverage floor of $750,000 in 2011.
The waivers are meant as a stopgap measure until new state-run insurance exchanges open in 2014. Annual dollar limits will also be abolished by then.
About 2.6 million people are covered by the waivers, representing less than 2 percent of privately insured individuals, according to HHS.
The department also said the number of waivers has been steadily decreasing. HHS approved more than 500 in December, which it attributed to most plan years starting Jan. 1. It then approved 200 waivers in January and 126 in February.”
You can read the entire article here… Number of healthcare reform law waivers climbs above 1,000