Heads up: You don’t have much longer to apply for a waiver that would free you from the health reform’s restrictions on setting annual limits for healthcare coverage.
The Department of Health and Human Services just announced that no new applications for waivers will be considered after Sept. 22, 2011. Any approvals or renewals received by the deadline will be good through 2013.
Employers can apply to receive a waiver if they feel that reform’s healthcare coverage limits would force them to significantly cut health benefits or increase plan premiums for employees.
Currently, the reform law states that plans issued or renewed on or after Sept. 23, 2010, cannot set annual healthcare coverage limits lower than $750,000.
Those limits will then be raised to $1.25 million on Sept. 23, 2011; and $2 million on Sept. 23, 2012. Then, starting in 2014, health plans cannot impose any annual limits on the cost of healthcare coverage.
The feds have approved the vast majority of waiver applications it’s received so far. To date, HHS has approved more than 95% of the 1,400 waiver applications it has received, according to a review by the Government Accountability Office.