Giant Obamacare Loophole

NRO's Stephen Spruiell  notes a large Obamacare loophole which could undo the entire scheme of  forcing young healthy citizens to subsidize the health care of everyone else:  

One challenge in implementing healthcare reform is that there's a lot of fine print in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And some of that fine print could subvert the goals of the overall legislation.

One example - the subject of a recent Kaiser Health News report - is the waiver process that would allow insurers to continue offering low-cost, low-benefit plans that don't provide real access to healthcare when the insured become seriously ill. Favored by small businesses and larger companies with low-wage workers, these "mini-plans" have low benefit limits. They may cap the amount the plan will pay for doctor visits or hospital care or may have low overall limits on coverage. For example, some plans will not pay more than $50,000 a year.

Under the ACA, the minimum annual coverage limit for health plans is supposed to be $750,000 per person, rising to $2 million in September 2012. Ceilings on annual coverage are supposed to be eliminated entirely by 2014. But insurance companies can obtain waivers to keep their mini-plans if they can show that switching to comprehensive coverage would lead to significant premium increases or force employers to drop insurance benefits.

h/t: Ranger

Thomas Lifson adds:

Once again, bureaucrats are being empowered to grant financially significant benefits to certain employers. This is exactly the sort of arbitrary discretion that readily leads to favoritism toward poltiically favored companies.
NRO's Stephen Spruiell  notes a large Obamacare loophole which could undo the entire scheme of  forcing young healthy citizens to subsidize the health care of everyone else:  

One challenge in implementing healthcare reform is that there's a lot of fine print in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And some of that fine print could subvert the goals of the overall legislation.

One example - the subject of a recent Kaiser Health News report - is the waiver process that would allow insurers to continue offering low-cost, low-benefit plans that don't provide real access to healthcare when the insured become seriously ill. Favored by small businesses and larger companies with low-wage workers, these "mini-plans" have low benefit limits. They may cap the amount the plan will pay for doctor visits or hospital care or may have low overall limits on coverage. For example, some plans will not pay more than $50,000 a year.

Under the ACA, the minimum annual coverage limit for health plans is supposed to be $750,000 per person, rising to $2 million in September 2012. Ceilings on annual coverage are supposed to be eliminated entirely by 2014. But insurance companies can obtain waivers to keep their mini-plans if they can show that switching to comprehensive coverage would lead to significant premium increases or force employers to drop insurance benefits.

h/t: Ranger

Thomas Lifson adds:

Once again, bureaucrats are being empowered to grant financially significant benefits to certain employers. This is exactly the sort of arbitrary discretion that readily leads to favoritism toward poltiically favored companies.

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