|Signed Health Reform bill: Wiki Commons image|
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has granted waivers to 10 health insurance companies, including giants such as Cigna and Aetna and divisions of Blue Cross Blue Shield, from the requirements of the new health care law, also known as ObamaCare.
The waivers allow these companies to impose annual limits on the health coverage they provide to their employees. Under Obamacare, companies that do not get special waivers from the administration must phase out their caps on annual health-care benefits between now and 2014 when they must offer limitless annual benefits. The Obama administration began granting waivers to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act last September.
The health insurance company benefiting most from a special waiver from the Obamacare provision is Cigna Corp., which has 265,000 enrollees on its health plan. HHS approved Cigna a waiver on Sept. 26, 2010, allowing it to cap the health insurance benefits for those 265,000 employees.