“A Limit on Consumer Costs Is Delayed in Health Care Law”
“…the administration has delayed until 2015 a significant consumer protection in the law that limits how much people may have to spend on their own health care.
The limit on out-of-pocket costs…was not supposed to exceed $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family. But under a little-noticed ruling, federal officials have 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.
The grace period has been outlined on the Labor Department’s Web site since February, but was obscured in a maze of legal and bureaucratic language that went largely unnoticed.
…group health plans will be able to maintain separate out-of-pocket limits for benefits in 2014…a consumer may be required to pay $6,350 for doctors’ services and hospital care, and an additional $6,350 for prescription drugs…
Some consumers…have to pay even more, as some…plans will not be required to impose any limit on…out-of-pocket costs for drugs next year. If a drug plan does not currently have a limit…it will not have to impose one for 2014…”