Patient Organizations Applaud Proposed Rule to Strengthen Consumer Protections in Association Health Plans

Patient groups applaud the Department of Labor’s newly proposed rule strengthening consumer protections in association health plans (AHPs), a health benefit plan sponsored by an employer-based association. Together, they issue the following statement: 

The Department proposes to rescind the 2018 rule change that eliminated or substantially altered standards and regulatory structures that protect patients and consumers and that our organizations opposed. AHPs have historically proven risky for enrollees – sometimes leaving patients with thousands of dollars in medical debt. Some of these entities have a long history of fraud and other dubious practices and, according to state insurance regulators, “have been notoriously prone to insolvencies.”

In addition to having a history of financial mismanagement, AHPs are not required to cover services included in the essential health benefits (EHB) package. They are permitted to charge higher premiums based on occupation, and in some situations, health status. They can also siphon away healthy individuals from ACA-compliant individual and small-group coverage, leading to higher premiums and fewer plan choices for the people who depend on those markets to access comprehensive coverage. 

Our organizations look forward to reviewing this proposed rule carefully and commenting. 

  • American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
  • American Diabetes Association
  • American Heart Association
  • American Kidney Fund
  • American Lung Association
  • Arthritis Foundation
  • Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
  • CancerCare
  • Child Neurology Foundation
  • Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • Epilepsy Foundation
  • Hemophilia Federation of America
  • Lupus Foundation of America
  • Lutheran Services in America
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • National Bleeding Disorders Foundation
  • National Eczema Association
  • National Health Council
  • National Kidney Foundation
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • National Organization for Rare Disorders
  • National Patient Advocate Foundation
  • Pulmonary Hypertension Association
  • Susan G. Komen
  • The AIDS Institute
  • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • WomenHeart
For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
312-940-7001
[email protected]

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