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More on Mini-Meds

November 24, 2010

Back in June, I highlighted a Politico article entitled “Health care law could ban low-cost plans.” In case you missed it, here is an excerpt from that blog post:

The "Affordable" Health Care Act would ban the caps currently in place for the amount of insurance company payouts. While, on the surface, this sounds like a positive reform to improve the quality of care, it is problematic for a couple of reasons. There is a niche insurance market, called mini-med plans, which many employees (retail, restaurant workers, etc.) have come to depend on. While these plans do offer limited benefits, they are priced low for low-wage workers who may not be able to afford more comprehensive health care. If caps are eliminated, it could force insurance companies to significantly raise costs or eliminate the plans altogether. That would be detrimental to many of these low-wage workers since insurance exchanges and tax credits will not be available until 2014.

The big concern was that mini-med subscribers would lose their coverage before they could access subsidies to purchase government-regulated insurance in 2014. However, according to The Hill, “McDonald’s and other employers that offer low-value ‘mini-med’ health plans to 1.4 million workers will temporarily be allowed to keep them under highly anticipated federal regulations released Monday.” Employers that offer mini-med plans will still have to comply with new requirements, but they have been afforded extra time.

Go here for more information on the newest HHS-issued health care regulations.   


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