Since the new Congress began, a number of Congressional Committees have held health care related hearings focused on issues ranging from pre-existing conditions to short-term health plans. In some of these hearings, the matter of Association Health Plans (AHPs) has come up, which NAR through its work with the Coalition to Protect and Promote AHPs has provided background in defense of AHPs.
AHPs are typically large group plans subject to most of the consumer protections of other group plans under the Affordable Care Act. Thus, by law, AHPs cannot exclude participants based on health status including any pre-existing conditions. In fact, AHPs generally offer more comprehensive health coverage at lower cost than the small group and individual health insurance markets. AHPs are also not the same as short-term health plans, despite constantly being grouped together. Short-term health plans are subject to less regulation than AHPs and thus are often characterized as “skinny” plans with less health benefits, which differ from more comprehensive AHPs. The coalition statements sort out these "myths vs. facts" about AHPs.
NAR continues to advocate for changes to promote and protect AHPs and will continue to provide updates to members seeking more affordable health insurance options.
For more information, please visit the Health Care Reform page