Obamacare Approved Waivers
Posted in the Alamogordo Forum
#1 Jan 27, 2011
As of today, a total of 733 waivers have been granted for 2011. Key facts about annual limits waivers:
There was an increase in the number of applications received at the end of 2010 because December 1 was the final day to apply for a waiver for a plan or policy year that begins on January 1 as many plans do. Over 500 waivers were granted in December. While the number of approved waivers increased by more than 200 percent, the total number of enrollees in plans receiving waivers has increased by only 48 percent since the previous posting.
Of all the waivers granted to date:
◦Employment-Based Coverage: The vast majority 712 plans representing 97 percent of all waivers were granted to health plans that are employment-related.
■Self-Insured Employer Plans Applicants: Employer-based health plans received most of the waivers 359.
■Collectively-Bargai ned Employer-Based Plan Applicants: Most of the other health plans receiving waivers are multi-employer health funds created by a collective bargaining agreement between a union and two or more employers, pursuant to the Taft-Hartley Act. These union plans are employment based group health plans and operate for the sole benefit of workers. They tend to be larger than other typical group health plans because they cover multiple employers. There are also single-employer union plans that have received a waiver. In total, 182 collectively-bargained plans have received waivers.
■Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs): HRAs are employer-funded group health plans where employees are reimbursed tax-free for qualified medical expenses up to a maximum dollar amount for a coverage period. In total, HHS has approved 171 applications for waivers for HRAs.
◦Health Insurers: Sixteen waivers were granted to health insurers, which can apply for a waiver for multiple mini-med products sold to employers or individuals.
◦State Governments: Four waivers have gone to State governments. States may apply for a waiver of the restricted annual limits on behalf of issuers of state-mandated policies if state law required the policies to be offered by the issuers prior to September 23, 2010.
The number of enrollees in plans with annual limits waivers is 2.1 million, representing only about 1 percent of all Americans who have private health insurance today.
Such a great health care plan, not all Americans are covered, you cannot buy insurance across state lines, and you will be penalazied for not buying any, even if you are healthy or rich..
Lets watch each month as this exempt list grows.
Since: Sep 08
#2 May 22, 2011
Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco district was the hands-down winner in the latest set of health care law waivers announced by the Obama administration.
More than three dozen businesses with locations in Pelosi's district were granted temporary exemptions from the law in April, according to information released by the Department of Health and Human Services. The businesses -- mostly restaurants and cafes, with a few upscale hotels and clubs mixed in -- accounted for about 20 percent of all waivers granted last month.
Pelosi's office did not respond to a request for comment. It was unclear why so many of the affected businesses were in her district, though the Obama administration, in a statement on the White House blog, said the original waiver requests came from a "third-party administrator" called Flex Plan Services.
According to the administration, the company administers health plans in several states, including California, and made a total of 92 waiver requests in March. Many of them were apparently for businesses in San Francisco.
"HHS applied the same standard to the application from Flex Plan Services that it uses when reviewing any application for a temporary waiver," Richard Sorian, assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, said on the blog, adding that waivers are granted for businesses that prove they need them to avoid "a large increase in premiums or a significant decrease in access to coverage."
Grapevine: Pelosi's District Secures Waivers
Conservatives angered over exemptions
Pelosi, though, was among the most vocal champions of the health care law as she and other Democrats helped shepherd it through Congress in 2009 and 2010.
Nevada, the state represented by Pelosi's then-counterpart on the other side of Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, also just received a partial exemption from a provision in the law requiring companies to spend at least 80 percent of premium money on medical care and related expenses. HHS will allow Nevada to keep that rate at 75 percent in 2011, out of concern that major insurers could otherwise withdraw.
The waivers in Pelosi's district pertained to a different requirement in the health care law dealing with annual benefit limits. The latest set brings the total number of such exemptions since the law's implementation to 1,372 nationwide. More than 3 million people are enrolled in plans affected by these waivers.
On the list of San Francisco businesses with a reprieve were The Stinking Rose, an Italian restaurant; TRU Spa, a day spa in the city; and the upscale Hotel Nikko. Daily Caller first reported on the exemptions in Pelosi's district.
Part 1 of 2
Since: Sep 08
#3 May 22, 2011
Part 2 0f 2
Steve Larsen, director of the administration's Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, said in a statement that the waivers were deemed vital to workers in the service sector. "These temporary waivers are necessary to help ensure that the waiters, dishwashers, maids, home health aides, and other hardworking people can keep the health coverage they have, while we transition to 2014, when they will have access to affordable coverage in a competitive marketplace," he said.
But the latest list quickly raised questions among Republicans. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement that the waivers are a "tacit admission that the health care law is fundamentally flawed."
"Despite the president's promise, it appears that just because you like your health care plan does not mean that the administration will allow you to keep it," Upton said.
Newly seated Nevada Sen. Dean Heller also said the Nevada waiver exposes the law's flaws. "It is clear that the unique health care needs of individual states were not taken into consideration, and this is why Obamacare will not work for Nevada," he said in a statement.
The waivers are not intended to be permanent. The waivers granted to the San Francisco businesses last for one year at a time, and are meant to exempt certain companies from rules that restrict annual benefit limits. For 2011, the law prohibits most health plans from setting an annual benefit limit lower than $750,000 per individual policyholder. The law would eventually end annual limits, but in the meantime allows companies to apply for a waiver if they still have limits lower than the law allows.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney stressed Tuesday that the waivers "will no longer exist" by 2014. "It's basically a bridging mechanism," Carney said. He also said that fewer than 100 waiver applications have been denied so far.
The exemptions are meant to "protect coverage for these workers," according to HHS.
Where are the exemptions for the individual American?
If Obama care is so good, Why even give waivers, Can not the politicians do a good job there in Washhington, or is this truely the path to single payers?
Since: Sep 08
#4 Oct 20, 2012
A year and a half after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, bureaucrats at the IRS and Health and Human Services issued an 18-page report outlining new regulations that will dramatically increase health care costs for small and large businesses alike.
The regulations, written by an IRS attorney, arbitrarily redefine "full time employee" as someone who works 30 hours a week for a business. Traditionally, most private businesses have defined "full time employee" as someone who works 40 hours a week. With this new regulation, the federal government is now removing the right of businesses to define "full time employee" as they deem appropriate for their unique conditions.
Kevin Kuhlman, Manager of Legislative Affairs at the National Federal of Independent Business, the plaintiff in the NFIB v. Sebelius Supreme Court decision, was not pleased with the new regulations:
This is the latest in what promises to be a nearly-endless amount of regulatory duct-tape, struggling to hold together a bad law that is nearly impossible to administer. The new regulation attempting to define a full-time employee is a classic by-product of the health-care law more regulation, more red tape, more paperwork. The repercussions of this law and its regulatory jerry-rigging, for the small-business community, are endless.
The Washington Examiner noted that the new regulations will hit small businesses especially hard:
The IRS rule is key because companies with more than 50 full-time employees must provide health insurance under Obamacare, or be fined. Business groups have been warning that small companies might try to replace full-time workers with part-time help to avoid being forced to offer health insurance in 2014, but the 30-hour full-time definition is likely to undermine those plans.
Obamacare has already broken the budget on regulations, as the Orange County Register reported recently:
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has validated the linchpin of the law the requirement that all Americans have health insurance or pay a tax a picture of Obamacare's full costs is coming into focus.
As reported July 3, Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., pointed out that the Health and Human Services Department "was given a billion dollars of implementation money. That money is gone already on additional bureaucrats and IT programs, computerization for the implementation. There's already 13,000 pages of regulations, and they're not even done yet."
The new regulations confirm former Speaker Nancy Pelosi's famous statement made just before President Obama's hallmark health care legislation became law. "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it," she said.
18 months later, we've found out more of what's in it, and most businesses have decided they don't like it.
So how much longer before the Obamacare lawyers change the tax code to be able to fine you, Because they know you know that a tax refund is the only means today to collect the fine for not having health insurance...And so want 4 more years.
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