From USA Today-
Nearly a million workers won't get a consumer protection in the U.S. health reform law meant to cap insurance costs because the government exempted their employers.
Thirty companies and organizations, including McDonald's (MCD) and Jack in the Box (JACK), won't be required to raise the minimum annual benefit included in low-cost health plans, which are often used to cover part-time or low-wage employees.
The Department of Health and Human Services, which provided a list of exemptions, said it granted waivers in late September so workers with such plans wouldn't lose coverage from employers who might choose instead to drop health insurance altogether.
The plans will be exempt from rules intended to keep people from having to pay for all their care once they reach a preset coverage cap. McDonald's, which offers the programs as a way to cover part-time employees, told the Obama administration it might re-evaluate the plans unless it got a waiver.
From The Hill-
Desperate not to violate the president’s pledge that people who like their coverage will be able to keep it, the administration recently granted 30 waivers from annual limit restrictions. Those waivers were quietly posted on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website — without drawing attention to the fact that they’re exempting from the law’s patient protections plans that offer some of the weakest coverage.
An administration official said all but one of the requested waivers was granted, but the source was unclear which company was denied. It is also unclear how many waiver requests are pending at HHS.
So that awesome healthcare plan not so awesome I guess. Sadly, we all knew it would happen.