Study: Proposal to Promote Association Health Plans Poses Risks for Insurance Markets, Consumers

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<p>While the nation is focusing on the American Health Care Act, the most recent proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, another bill is quickly advancing through Congress. The Small Business Health Fairness Act, H.R. 1101, allows small employers to band together and buy health insurance though federally certified associations. In a new <em>To the Point</em> post, Georgetown University’s Kevin Lucia and Sabrina Corlette explain that the bill, if it becomes law, will likely have a detrimental impact on the private health insurance market, as well as create limits on states’ ability to protect consumers.</p><p>H.R. 1101 would encourage professional and trade associations to offer health insurance coverage to their members nationwide. Under the legislation, these association health plans would be regulated by new, less stringent federal standards for premiums, benefits, and financial solvency. </p>
<p>According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the approach would “strip states of the ability to protect consumers and create competitive markets.” </p> Read more