30 Jun Department of Labor Announces New Health Plan Allowances
The Department of Labor recently shared its plans to allow small businesses to join together and offer association health plans.
The benefits of private insurance plans:
The benefit of these type of plans, is that they would not have to comply to some of the tougher standards required under ACA laws. This could offer less-costly insurance plans for small business owners and their employees. With this type of option, we see an opportunity for groups that operate in the same industry, or in the same geographical area, that they could combine their efforts and offer association health plans by working together.
These type of private association plans would not be held to certain benefit requirements, which in turn keep costs low for users. For example, the plans may not cover maternity benefits. Some ACA demands, however, will still apply. Specifics such as out-of-pocket fee caps and restrictions on annual limits would still apply. One benefit would be that health insurance rates may not be based on health status. This benefit alone, could appeal to many users.
The possible drawbacks of group health plans…
Looking ahead, we know that some news media will warn of patients losing access to care (regarding in or out of network doctor’s offices or hospitals), however, this concern can be addressed ahead of time with associations.
The Congressional office estimated that up to 4 million consumers may consider enrollment in this type of association health plans.