ACA Delays Continue, Out-Of-Pocket Costs Cap Pushed Back

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August 14th, 2013

US Constitution and stethoscopeBuried in the Federal Register released by the Department of Labor in February, was the ruling for another provision of the Affordable Care Act to be delayed – the cap on out-of-pocket costs. It’s only now that this news has surfaced, and has brought concern to an item in President Obama’s Healthcare Reform that was touted as one of its main selling points.

The delay follows a series of other setbacks that question just how ready the ACA is. Despite being prepped for implementation on October 1st, the Obama administration has now missed or moved almost one-third of the outlined ACA deadlines, according to the Congressional Research Service.

The most recent delay sees the cap on out-of-pocket medical expenses being pushed back to 2015 – a year later than its proposed starting date, January 2014. This year-long delay has been imposed to give insurers and employers adequate time to recalibrate their administration systems towards handling both medical and pharmaceutical coverage.

Those insured under 'ObamaCare' would have seen out-of-pocket costs capped at $6,350 a year for individual plans, and $12,700 for family plans, but will now see separate limits for benefits in 2014. For employers, specifically those with one or more benefit provider, the delay may force them to use health plans with higher limits, if not no limit at all.

Some are calling the growing list of delays to the ACA “unconstitutional”. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, commented on the Obama administration’s involvement in mandating these delays. “The president doesn’t get to write legislation, and it’s illegal and unconstitutional for him to try and change legislation by himself.” Sen. Paul told Fox News.

Many are now concerned as to when they’ll start see the proposed ‘savings’ of the Healthcare Reform; while others are waiting to see how smoothly its implementation goes come October – barring any further delays.