The Hill reports that Department of Health and Human services have now issued 1,050 waivers for various mini and not-so-mini medical care coverage plans for the year 2011, representing over 2.6 Million Americans who have been explicitly excluded from one of the few benefits of so-called ObamaCare coverage – an increase in the coverage limit.
Do you know why the government is granting the waivers? Because in order for these 1,050 plans to comply with the new coverage limits would cause significant increases in the cost of coverage:
Mini-med plans have lower limits than allowed under the Affordable Care Act. While mini-med plans do not provide security in the event of serious illness or accident, they are unfortunately the only option that some employers offer. In order to protect coverage for these workers, the Affordable Care Act allows these plans to apply for temporary waivers from rules restricting the size of annual limits to some group health plans and health insurance issuers.
Waivers only last for one year and are only available if the plan certifies that a waiver is necessary to prevent either a large increase in premiums or a significant decrease in access to coverage. In addition, enrollees must be informed that their plan does not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. No other provision of the Affordable Care Act is affected by these waivers: they only apply to the annual limit policy. [emphasis added]
But I thought ObamaCare was not going to increase the cost of coverage? In fact, I seem to recall the Secretary of Health and Human Services saying quite explicitly that they refused to accept excessive increases attributed to ObamaCare:
“Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections,” Sebelius said. She warned that bad actors may be excluded from new health insurance markets that will open in 2014 under the law. They’d lose out on a big pool of customers, as many as 30 million people nationwide.
Source: The Huffington Post/AP
I guess we’ve now got over 1,000 counter-examples that prove that increasing benefits leads to increased coverage costs, contrary to Secretary Sebelius statement back in September, 2010…
Department of Health and Human Services: Helping Americans Keep the Coverage They Have and Promoting Transparency
The Huffington Post/AP: Sebelius To Health Insurers: Stop Lying About Your Rate Increases