A new proposed regulation opens the way to expand association health plans (AHPs). AHPs are plans sponsored by a group of unrelated employers, linked by factors such as a common industry or geography. These AHP plans will be allowed to offer reduced benefits in order to lower the cost of coverage. The stated goal of the proposed regulation is to make it easier for small employers to buy lower cost health insurance.
Proposed regulations will transfer control over key decisions from the federal government to individual states and insurance companies. The proposed regulations do not, directly, make significant changes to the health insurance coverages offered under ACA. However, they set the stage for such changes to occur in coming years.