Mini-med plans explained

Federal health reform was supposed to limit so-called “mini-med” plans-health insurance plans that cap how much health care they cover. But federal officials have granted some of these plans waivers from the law, out of fear that employers would drop any insurance option if they had to comply with the new rules.

The Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan research organization, released a primer on the mini-med plans and their status under health reform today. KFF provides several examples of mini-med plans, such as McDonald’s “McCrew Care,” which costs employees $56 per month for coverage that provides a maximum of $2,000 in benefits in a year.

“Annual dollar limits on benefits will not be allowed at all beginning in 2014, so mini-med plans as we know them will probably cease to exist,” the KFF outline explains. “What this means for low-wage workers in the larger firms that offer these plans now, however, is more of a question.”