Add Caps On Out-Of-Pocket Insurance Costs To Long List Of Obamacare Delays

by William Teach | August 13, 2013 8:57 am

Who would have thought that such a huge bill with 20,000 pages (and growing) of regulations would be so hard to implement? (via The Blaze[1])

(NY Times[2]) 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.

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.

The grace period has been outlined on the Labor Department’s Web site since February, but was obscured in a maze of legal and bureaucratic language that went largely unnoticed. When asked in recent days about the language – which appeared as an answer to one of 137 “frequently asked questions about Affordable Care Act implementation” – department officials confirmed the policy.

Looks like they were trying to hide this.

Last month the White House announced a one-year delay in enforcement of another major provision of the law, which requires larger employers to offer health coverage to full-time employees. Valerie Jarrett, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, said that the delay of the employer mandate showed “we are listening” to businesses, which had complained about the complexity of federal reporting requirements.

Although the two delays are unrelated, together they underscore the difficulties the Obama administration is facing as it rolls out the health care law.

Yet, it’s not just those two[3]

First, there was the delay of Obamacare’s Medicare cuts[4] until after the election. Then there was the delay of the law’s employer mandate[5]. Then there was the announcement, buried in the Federal 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[6]” 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.

Unsurprisingly, the provisions are all scheduled to kick in after the 2014 elections. Whether Republicans will take advantage of this remains to be seen.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[7]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[8].

  1. The Blaze:
  2. NY Times:
  3. not just those two:
  4. Medicare cuts:
  5. employer mandate:
  6. honor system:
  7. Pirate’s Cove:
  8. @WilliamTeach:

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