The Association Health Plan (AHP) Final Rule has been released. The purpose of the plan is to allow small employers – many of whom are facing much higher premiums and fewer coverage options – a greater ability to join together and gain many of the regulatory advantages enjoyed by large employers in regard to health care.
During the comment period, WBA sent a letter stating the Association supported the proposal’s goal to expand the availability of affordable health insurance plans to small businesses but believes additional oversight is warranted for AHPs that do not have a membership connection to an existing association. WBA expressed concern that new associations, absent the scepter of DOL’s watchful eye, will literally pop-up overnight for the sole purpose of making a profit by implementing thinly capitalized plans, while disregarding the goal of the proposal.
WBA will be reviewing the Final Rule to determine if our concerns were addressed. More importantly, the review will also examine how this can benefit WBA’s members. As we learn more, we’ll pass on how you can take advantage of this opportunity.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor has a webpage with more information including a fact sheet, FAQ, and copy of the final rule which can be found by clicking here.