What are association health plans?
Health care is a big issue for families and businesses. Health care costs have skyrocketed for the past decade and some of the biggest price increases have been for small businesses, which don’t have the buying power to spread the risk across many employees like large corporations. They often have few choices for insurance and have to pay a lot more to cover their employees.
One way to fix this problem is by expanding something called association health plans, which allow small businesses to band together to negotiate better prices.
The Department of Labor has proposed a new rule that would expand association health plans to allow small business to participate in them. Many of the burdensome regulations and costs that are passed on by insurance companies to employers would not apply to association health plans. This would allow association health plans to operate across state lines, which will result in more choice and lower prices. Small businesses would be on a more equal playing field with their big business competitors.
If association health plans are expanded as the labor department has proposed, health care costs for tens of millions of small businesses and their employees would fall dramatically, finally bringing some relief to one of the biggest victims of rising health care costs.