House Approves Association Health Plan
On Thursday, Mar. 22, 2017, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 1101, the Small Business Health Fairness Act (Johnson; R-TX), by a vote of 236-175. The bill amends title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to exempt health care plans sponsored by trade and business associations from most state laws and regulations. The bill would allow an association sponsoring a health care plan to choose the health benefits included in the plan, as long as the plan meets certain federal and state statutory minimums. These association sponsored health care plans could not make membership, payment, or coverage conditional on the health status of an enrollee. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration where previous versions of this bill have not garnered the necessary support to advance in prior Congresses.