Aetna receives one-year waiver from new limit prohibitions for all products.

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Following last week’s milestone implementation of the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act (PPACA), fallout came reportedly in the form of a threat
from McDonald’s to drop its limited benefit plan to 30,000 employees — as a
direct result of the PPACA. Citing concerns that its carrier would be
unable to achieve the minimum required medical loss ratio (MLR) of 80 to 85
percent, McDonald’s asked the government for a waiver, allowing them to
continue offering employees their “mini-med” plan to give employees some
form of coverage before reform is fully implemented in 2014. Health and
Human Services (HHS) spokespeople have indicated that they offered the
carrier for McDonald’s the opportunity to file for exemption. As reported
last week, Aetna has received formal notification of an across-the-board
one-year waiver from new annual and lifetime limit prohibitions for all of
the products (no exclusions) offered by SRC in this marketplace. While HHS
has demonstrated some flexibility on these issues, we may very well see
other stories, like McDonald’s, emerging over the coming weeks.

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