On January 6, HHS announced that over the past year and a half it has granted 1,231 companies waivers to PPACA’s annual limit requirements because the companies offer their employees limited medical benefit plans and they were able to demonstrate that without such a waiver the coverage would have become unaffordable for enrollees. These plans will be able to keep their annual benefit limitations in place through January 1, 2014. In addition, earlier in 2011, HHS allowed a blanket waiver for stand-alone HRA plans. Ninety-six companies have been denied their waiver requests.
HHS ceased accepting waiver applications from employers in the fall of 2011 so this is the last round of waiver approvals that will be announced during the health reform implementation process.