Although the national health care reform outlined in the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was pulled from the House of Representatives last week, a less-spotlighted bill that also deals with health care did pass -- and will now wend through the Senate before (perhaps) landing on President Trump's desk for a signature. It's the Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2017, but instead of tackling the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as PPACA, ACA or "Obamacare"), this bill attempts to tackle some issues with 1974's Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The biggest potential change has to do with trade association health plan options. An announcement about the bill published last week by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) summed it up thusly: The new act amends ERISA "to exempt health care plans sponsored by trade and business associations from most state laws and regulations." “If there was a clear path to get it done and do it right,...
- AHPs would open up association health insurance options to brokerages as well as agents. They would give associations the ability to negotiate group plans with insurance providers on behalf of small business members.
- NAR has signed a letter in support of the current bill that would permit AHPs. Previous versions of this bill have not passed the Senate, but if this one does without major changes, President Trump's advisers will advise him to sign it.
Faster. Better. Together.
Inman Connect San Francisco, Jul 16-20, 2018