The controversial Obamacare health initiative is only months away from launching, but it took another major hit this week when it was discovered that a critical consumer component will not be enforced on all large employers until 2015.
The major change was not announced publicly, further damaging the credibility of the program and the Obama administration.
Instead it was buried in what the New York Times described “in a maze of legal and bureaucratic language” that was part of 137 frequently asked questions about the implementation of the affordable care act.
However administration officials confirmed this week that limits on how much consumers will have to spend on their own health care will not go into effect until 2015 for all companies.
“The limit on out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles and co-payments, was not supposed to exceed $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family. But under a little-noticed ruling, federal officials have granted a one-year grace period to some insurers, allowing them to set higher limits, or no limit at all on some costs, in 2014,” wrote the New York Times.
In Connecticut not all employers will be exempt.
“A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said: ”We knew this was an important issue. We had to balance the interests of consumers with the concerns of health plan sponsors and carriers, which told us that their computer systems were not set up to aggregate all of a person’s out-of-pocket costs. They asked for more time to comply,” the Times said.
This is the second time the administration has delayed implementing consumer protection rules for Obamacare.
A one-year delay was announced last month to implement a requirement for all large employers to offer health coverage for full-time employees.
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