12 Jan

New Rules Proposed for Expansion of Association Health Plans

From Mark Avery, Chief Strategy Officer

In response to President’s Trump Executive Order last October, the Department of Labor on Thursday released proposed draft regulations for the expansion of Association Health Plans.  This is something to watch closely in the months ahead.

There are many implications, but the most significant change from today is currently business groups, or associations, that want to sponsor an AHP, must be organized for purposes beyond simply the creation of a health program.   Under the proposed regulations, that’s not the case. A health program would be reason enough.  According to the DOL’s release, “a plan could serve employers in a state, city, county, or a multi-state metro area, or it could serve all the businesses in a particular industry nationwide”.

As with most things, the devil will live in the details, but depending on how the rules are ultimately written this could have a tremendous impact on the small group health market.  Interestingly, we might see much of it driven by the carriers themselves as they view it as another way to offer plans to smaller employers outside the requirements of ACA and modified community rating.

We will watch this closely.

Original article from Kaiser Health News: “Trump Administration Rule Paves Way For Association Health Plans