Monday, May 30, 2011

San Francisco Health Waivers

First, let's get everyone up to speed on what happened, as the Obama Administration released another 221 waivers of a provision in the health reform law which allow companies to limit health insurance plan payouts to less than $750,000 for the year.

Those annual benefit limits will be phased out under the Obama health law by 2014.

The extra waivers bring the total to 1,372 one-year waivers, giving over three million workers at regular businesses, health care companies, unions and others an exemption from the annual benefit rules.

Some of the names in this latest batch are familiar - Wendy's International is one - though the fast food restaurant is only getting a waiver for 22 employees.

Another familiar name, REI - the outdoor equipment company - which won a waiver for health coverage provided to 1,180 of its employees.

The latest waivers included another two dozen plus unions as well, like the CWA Local 1182 Security Benefits Fund in New York, the Southeastern Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Health & Welfare Fund and the Washington Wholesalers Health and Welfare Fund.

As for the California angle on this latest batch of waivers, at times when I was trying to identify all of the groups that won a waiver, I almost thought I was doing research on a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area.

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