The week of March 4th, New Yorkers for Accessible Health Coverage, a project of CIDNY, submitted comments to the US Department of Labor expressing strong concerns with a proposed rule expanding Association Health Plans.
We believe that the proposed changes would negatively impact access to quality, affordable care for consumers, disrupt the individual and small business marketplace, and further strain the limited resources of state regulators. The loosely affiliated small businesses joined together as AHPs would be exempt from many of the consumer protections created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These include insurance standards such as Essential Health Benefits, premium rating rules, and risk pooling. As was seen in the past with AHPs, fraud, abuse, and plan solvency present potential concerns, especially as oversight and regulatory authority remains in question.
We are particularly concerned that Association Health Plans will use various practices to discriminate on the basis of health status. This will segment the market, making the ACA-compliant market, that the people we serve now enjoy, into a high-risk pool that will become unaffordable to them.
Learn more about the impact of Association Health Plans here.