New Association Health Plans Announced; Westerman Calls Plans A Win for Small Businesses
WASHINGTON – Earlier this week, U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta announced expanded access to association health plans, or AHPs, for small businesses.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Acosta said, “Association health plans are straightforward: Small businesses, including self-employed workers, may band together by geography or industry to obtain health-care coverage as if they were a single large employer. Before, most of these businesses could purchase health insurance for their employees exclusively through the small-group market. Now business associations—from city chambers of commerce to nationwide industry groups—will be able to offer health-care insurance to members through the large-group market.”
He went onto cite the Congressional Budget Office, which estimates about four million Americans will enroll in AHPs in coming years, including nearly 400,000 previously uninsured individuals.
Reacting to the announcement, Westerman released the following statement:
“The Affordable Care Act has been anything but affordable. Small business owners have been among the most impacted, often charged higher rates than their larger competitors,” Westerman said. “The Trump Administration’s plan to level the playing field through association health plans will for the first time bring true bargaining power to the smallest of businesses, opening the door to truly affordable healthcare for employees at businesses of all sizes. I applaud the Trump Administration on the creation of AHPs, a winning solution for Arkansas small business.”