The Department of Labor has published final rules on Association Health Plans. The rule change will likely result in less healthy Americans on existing plans, thus raising the costs of existing plans, but will as a trade-off likely result in more Americans covered overall.[1]

This trade-off is likely to occur because healthy people are more likely to choose association health plans due to them potentially having lower costs due to not needing to follow all of the ACAs’s rules (this is the same trade-off with short term health plans which are being expanded this year as well).

It is projected that 3.6 million healthy people would moving from the current pools and into lower cost / lower benefit pools and 400 thousand additional Americans who don’t currently have coverage will be covered.[2]

This move is part of a series of changes the Trump administration is making or has made to the ACA including rules that expand short term health insurance.[3] The administration is in the process of finalizing the short term health plan rule as well. The rule will likely expand short term health coverage to be renewable all year (currently you can’t hold a short term policy for a full year or renew it in a way that mimics an annual contract).

Citations

  1. Employee Benefits Security Administration [Association Health Plans Final rule]. DOL.gov.
  2. Trump rolls out rule for cheaper small business insurance with fewer benefits. USAtoday.com.
  3. Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance [Short Term Rule from February]. FederalRegister.Gov.

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