On March 6, ABC submitted comments
to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) saying that association health plans (AHPs) provide a common-sense solution to increasing access to health care for individuals and reduce the burden on small businesses that have been affected by the Affordable Care Act
. ABC’s comments on a DOL proposed rule—Definition of ‘‘Employer’’ Under Section 3(5) of ERISA—Association Health Plans
—also cited the benefits of allowing ABC’s small contractor members to offer the same high-quality benefits and health plans available to large employer and union plans.
According to the DOL, the proposed rule would increase access for small businesses to offer employment-based health insurance through AHPs and give access to 11 million small business employees/sole proprietors and their families who do not have employer-sponsored insurance.
The proposal stems from President Trump’s Executive Order 13813
, “Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States,” which directed the secretary of labor to consider proposing regulations to expand AHPs. On Jan. 5, 2018, the DOL’s EBSA issued a proposed rule
ABC has consistently supported AHPs, including efforts in Congress that will allow small businesses greater access to AHPs. ABC sent a key vote letter
to members of the U.S. House of Representatives in support of H.R. 1101, the Small Business Health Fairness Act
, which passed the House in March 2017
. The U.S. Senate has not taken any action on H.R. 1101 at the time of writing.