Another Delay for Obamacare

An article in the New York Times today reports on another delay for Obamacare that affects group health plans. The change delays, for some group plans, the the limit on out-of-pocket costs until 2015. The Obamacare rule is that in 2014 no health plan out-of-pocket costs can exceed $6,350 for an individual or $12,700 for a family.

The Times reports that an administrative ruling has 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”.

Apparently, some insurance companies were complaining that their computer systems could not add up policy holders’ medical co-pays and drug co-pays. Their reasons are related to their computer systems and their outsourcing  of drug coverage management to other companies. The insurance companies say they cannot change their computer systems to keep track of their customers’ medical and drug costs by January 2014.

People who work for companies with health insurance that currently has no out-of-pocket limit for their drug costs will likely see no changes to their plans. The changes that were to take place in 2014 under Obamacare rules would benefit people with chronic illnesses and high drug costs. They won’t get relief until 2015.

This delay does not affect individual plans that will be sold on or off the exchanges.  In 2014, all individual health insurance plans will have limits for out-of-pocket costs of $6,350 for an individual or $12,700 for a family.

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