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Affordable Care Act- Congress Eliminates Cap on Deductibles

The deductible cap for small group health plans under the Affordable Care Act has been permanently removed. Originally, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) had a provision that capped the deductible for individual and small group health plans at $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families. Last year, when it became evident that it would be difficult for many plans to comply with that requirement, the Health and Human Services Department issued a waiver for 2014. Now, through a bipartisan effort, that provision has been eliminated entirely in an effort to help issuers to design plans that work well for small business owners. It will also allow small businesses to continue trending towards High-Deductible Health Plans coupled with Health Savings Accounts. However, there are many other plan design requirements delineated in the ACA that still apply to small employers, including the limit on out-of-pocket maximums for essential health benefits.

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