Since the passage of the “Affordable Care Act,” it has been some cause for concern — scandal even — that several businesses have been granted waivers that excuse them from participating in the federal program.

Roughly 1,200 companies received waivers from part of the healthcare reform law, the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) said Friday.

“Friday marks the last time HHS will have to update the total number of waivers, putting to rest a recurring political firestorm. The department had been updating its waiver totals every month, prompting monthly attacks from the GOP,” writes Sam Baker of The Hill.

“All told, 1,231 companies applied for and received waivers from the law’s restrictions on annual benefit caps,” Baker writes. “The law requires plans to gradually raise their benefit limits, and all annual limits will become illegal in 2014. Companies that received waivers can keep their caps intact until 2014.”

When added together, the healthcare waivers excuse about 4 million people, or about 3 percent of the population, from having to participate, HHS said.

Continue reading →