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The New York Times Uncovers One Year Delay of Consumer Protections in New Health Care Reform Law

“Little-Noticed Ruling” to Delay Out-of-Pocket Protections for a Year; America’s Small Businesses Hampered by Incomplete Information

WASHINGTON, DC – With less than six-weeks to go before the October 1st open enrollment period begins for the new Affordable Care Act implementation, today The New York Times uncovered a “little-noticed ruling” that delays “until 2015 a significant consumer protection in the law that limits how much people may have to spend on their own health care”.  Katie Vlietstra, Director of Government Affairs for The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE), the nation’s leading resource and advocate for the self-employed and micro-businesses, calls the latest discovery “further evidence of a process that has been mired with incomplete and lacking information on the impact this law will have on America’s self-employed and micro-business community.”

Today’s The New York Times story, A Limit on Consumer Costs is Delayed in Health Care Law, writes that “federal officials have granted a one-year grace period to some insurers, allowing them to set higher limits, or no limit at all on some costs, in 2014”.  The story goes on to state that the delay was, “obscured in a maze of legal and bureaucratic language that went largely unnoticed”.

“Unfortunately, six-weeks before America’s 23 million self-employed businesses are set to see their health care costs rise significantly; another major detail affecting the out-of-pocket expenses they’ll incur is uncovered,” said Vlietstra. 

“Throughout this entire process, small business owners – particularly the self-employed and those with less than ten employees – have received incomplete information, at best, about how this new health care reform law will impact them overall.  Small businesses need adequate time to review these important details to budget accordingly.”

The NASE recently released the Affordable Care Act in Brief highlighting the impact of the new law on America’s smallest businesses. It outlines the pros and cons of health care coverage small businesses must consider while underlining the lack of information in the public domain about the health care law, the Exchanges and details of enrollment requirements.  In addition, the NASE submitted a letter signed by them and other small business groups to the U.S. House of Representatives supporting a delay in the individual mandate penalty due to the lack of information and understanding of many of the new law’s requirements, such as the delay in consumer protections for out-of-pocket expenses uncovered today.

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