Association Health Plans: Why Affordable Care Act Backers Are Reassured with Trump Plan

By Barton James posted 01-23-2018 11:15 AM

There were widespread fears among Obamacare supporters that the Trump administration’s proposal to loosen the rules around association health plans (AHPs) would further destabilize the individual and small group markets. But those fears seem to have been partly eased by the inclusion of language prohibiting plans from discriminating against individuals based on their medical status, mirroring protections in the latest plan

The proposal from the Labor Department (Did you see we have locked in DOL Secretary, Alex Acosta to speak at our annual conference next week?) acknowledges that the authors wrestled with striking the right balance between protecting consumers and expanding coverage options. That suggests the final rules could be changed to include less stringent anti-discrimination protections. And of course, any potential destabilizing effect on the individual and small group markets will ultimately depend on how the rules work once implemented.