On Tuesday April 1st President Obama signed HR 4302 commonly known as the "Doc Fix Bill" primarily designed to delay a 24% reduction in Medicare payments to doctors as well as providing a number of other fixes.
One "fix" that will have a significant impact on the small group market is the elimination of the deductible limits of $2,000 for a single and $4,000 for any other plan under the Affordable Care Act. The original limit was outlined in section 1302(c) on page 48.
HR 4302 states:
SEC. 213. ELIMINATION OF LIMITATION ON DEDUCTIBLES FOR EMPLOYER-SPONSORED HEALTH PLANS.
(a) In General- Section 1302(c) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148; 42 U.S.C. 18022(c)) is amended--
(1) by striking paragraph (2); and
(2) in paragraph (4)(A), by striking ‘paragraphs (1)(B)(i) and (2)(B)(i)’ and inserting ‘paragraph (1)(B)(i)’.
(b) Conforming Amendment- Section 2707(b) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg-6(b)) is amended by striking ‘paragraphs (1) and (2)’ and inserting ‘paragraph (1)’.
(c) Effective Date- The amendments made by this Act shall be effective as if included in the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148).
You can read the full bill here HR 4302.
Most small employers have been very concerned about how they are going to handle the increased premiums that most likely will ocurr from the ACA.
A simple fact of insurance is that the sooner the insurance company has to write a check to cover services the higher the premium they have to charge to cover those costs. So the elimination of the deductible limits is very welcome because it gives the employers much needed flexibility to design plans that fit their budgets and fit their employees needs.
To get more information download our Health Care Reform Bulletin.
Talon Benefits is dedicated to bringing our client partners the best solutions and timely information. We are here to help you navigate the ever changing regulations of health care reform.