Health Care Kilo-Waivers

The Hill reports that the Department of Health and Human Services has now issued over 1,000  waivers from requirements imposed by the health care reform law.

HHS posted 126 new waivers on Friday, bringing the total to 1,040 organizations that have been granted a one-year exemption from a new coverage requirement included in the healthcare reform law enacted almost a year ago. Waivers have become a hot-button issue for Republicans, eager to expose any vulnerabilities in the reform law.In order to avoid disruption in the insurance market, the healthcare overhaul gives HHS the power to grant waivers to firms that cannot meet new annual coverage limits in 2011. The waivers have typically been granted to so-called “mini-med” plans that offer limited annual coverage — as low as $2,000 — that would fall short of meeting the new annual coverage floor of $750,000 in 2011.

In total, the waivers are for programs and plans that cover approximately 2.6 million people, which represents less than two percent of privately insured individuals.  According to HHS, most waiver requests have been granted.

For my posts on the propriety of waivers, see here and here.

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