“Yes, but this year the answers are different.” – Albert Einstein
As the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor continue to work on the framework for implementation of President Trump’s Executive Order, there are several issues that they will address to make sure that Association Health Plans (AHPs) have a positive effect on markets and ultimately consumers. The two main areas that regulators will be discussing are 1. ensuring that consumers are protected by providing the appropriate state or federal regulatory authority and 2. ensuring proper funding guidelines so that solvency of providers does not fall back on the insured in times of extreme medical need.
What this means to business owners and association boards trying to provide their employees and membership cost-effective healthcare coverage is this: make sure any plan design checks the boxes that federal regulators are reviewing now by asking the following two questions of your broker or insurance consultant:
- What states does this plan meet the minimum requirements or does this meet a national standard?
- How exactly is this plan funded?
If they cannot answer those questions to your satisfaction, scrap the plan… and your consultant.