Washington, D.C. – In a move that U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) has long supported, President Trump today announced the expansion of Association Health Plans (AHP), or Small Business Health Plans. The expansion of AHPs will provide small businesses with more affordable coverage options and relief from Obamacare. Risch, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, cheered today’s announcement in the following statement:
“Our nation is home to more than 30 million small businesses, including 150,000 in Idaho, and this decision will benefit each and every one. After the disastrous Obamacare bill was signed into law, entrepreneurs struggled to provide insurance to their employees as premiums rose and coverage options declined. Between 2010 and 2017, the number of American workers covered by employer health benefits fell by about 25% for firms that employ between 3 and 49 workers. Today’s announcement means entrepreneurs will have greater flexibility and more affordable choices for employee health coverage. President Trump deserves credit for thinking outside of the box to provide small businesses relief from the failed health care law and to help more Americans obtain coverage.”
According to the Department of Labor, "AHPs can serve employers in a city, county, state, or a multi-state metropolitan area, or a particular industry nationwide. Sole proprietors as well as their families will be permitted to join such plans. In addition to providing more choice, the new rule makes insurance more affordable for small businesses. Just like plans for large employers, these plans will be customizable to tailor benefit design to small businesses’ needs." The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that millions of people will switch their coverage to more affordable and more flexible AHP plans and save thousands of dollars in premiums. CBO also estimates that 400,000 previously uninsured people will gain coverage under AHPs.