Association Health Plans – What’s the Next Step?

Filed in Labor, Safety and Health by on October 17, 2017 1 Comment

NAHB has been a long-time proponent of association health plans, which would empower small businesses to pool together to purchase health insurance plans for their employees.

Now that President Trump has signed an executive order that would ease restrictions on association health plans, what’s the next step to make this a reality for local HBAs across the land?

While we are very excited by Trump’s actions in signing the executive order on association health plans, there are still a lot of unanswered questions moving forward. Though the general intent is clear, the executive order itself does not change existing law. Rather, it directs federal agencies to determine the extent of the regulatory actions they can pursue to meet the President’s health care directives.

Those actions are likely limited compared to legislative steps like NAHB-supported bills passed by the House and pending in the Senate that could make more substantive and permanent changes to the law to expand the ability of businesses to form association health plans.

The executive order directs the Department of Labor to consider proposing regulations or guidance on association health plans within 60 days. As a result, it will be weeks if not months before we see a proposal take shape. NAHB will have a better idea of how plans would need to be structured and how state insurance regulators will respond once that becomes available.

Additionally, it is likely that there will be legal challenges mounted that could further slow the process as implementation starts to take shape.

NAHB remains engaged with Congress and the White House on this matter and will continue to monitor the executive order’s implementation and quickly determine what our best opportunities – and those of our affiliated HBAs – may be.

NAHB Senior Officers have already begun discussions to make sure the association stays on top of the issue and is positioned in the best possible way moving forward.

For more information, contact Alexis Moch at 800-368-5242 x8407.

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  1. Jake says:

    I don’t think there is a person in this country that doesn’t think that our current health system isn’t seriously flawed. And I appreciate that our association advocates on our behalf for a more affordable health care system. Where I am disappointed in our association is the myopic view that as long as the revisions to the health care system provide us with a benefit, we don’t need to care that the health care system doesn’t provide access for all. Many of my trades people rely on “Obama Care”; what is proposed here benefits us contractors and not the tradesman who are not part of the association. Furthermore, to only tinker with health insurance as a remedy for our health system is equally narrow minded. Inflated pharmaceutical costs, outrageous hospital billings and unnecessary medical procedures contribute far more to the cost of our health care than a defective insurance program. Our association should speak out on behalf of all who work in the construction industry and not only those that are members of HBA.

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