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April 01, 2014

Congress Repeals ACA Cap on Small Group Health Plan Deductibles

Congress yesterday passed legislation that eliminates the $2,000/$4,000 cost-sharing caps imposed on small group health plans by Section 1302(c)(2) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Originally introduced in the House as H.R. 4302, the “Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014” was approved by the Senate in a 64-35 bipartisan vote. The bill now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it today.

Once the legislation becomes law, small employers will be able to continue offering higher-deductible health plans with HRAs, HSAs, and FSAs – reducing overall costs of health insurance, driving consumerism, and making consumer-driven account-based arrangements more attractive for employers.

In addition to repealing small group deductible limits in Section 213, the “Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014” delays a 24 percent cut in Medicare physician payments for one year. The legislation also includes other provisions such as a mental health funding program for community health centers, as detailed in the summary prepared by the Congressional Research Service.