On Friday, the Obama administration announced the coming end of the ObamaCare waiver program.
Instead of approving a new batch of year-long waivers every month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that plans have until Sept. 22 to apply for a waiver that will carry through 2013. Starting in 2014, all plans will have to comply with the provisions of the law and the waivers will be moot.
CMS has been updating the waiver totals every month — and every month, critics of the healthcare law have seized the fresh opportunity to argue that the healthcare law is unworkable. That cycle of bad press could have repeated itself every month for the next three years without the changes announced Friday....
The waivers are for a single provision of the healthcare reform law: its restrictions on annual benefit limits. Some plans, often called “mini-meds,” place tight caps on how much they'll pay out in a year. The new law gradually increases those benefit caps each year until 2014, when it bans them altogether. But many employers are more likely to quit offering coverage than to comply immediately with the new requirements.
The administration to date has granted 1,433 waivers, covering 3.2 million people. It granted 62 new waivers in May.
Expect a rush to get the waivers, then there will be a new form of exemptions for 'needy' companies to 'protect' their employees.