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CEO DATELINE – Report: Most association health plans comply with coverage mandates

Nov. 13, 2018
By Walt Williams

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Most association health plans created or expanded this year comply with Affordable Care Act insurance coverage mandates despite President Donald Trump’s executive order freeing them from such requirements, according to an analysis by the news site Modern Healthcare.

Trump signed the order last year following the failure of congressional Republicans to repeal the health care law. The administration viewed it has a way for small businesses to avoid costly coverage requirements and purchase cheaper insurance for employees. But the plans launched or expanded since the order went into effect cover ACA mandates such as essential health benefits, Modern Healthcare reported.

The executive order was a disappointment to some groups because the administration left state regulation of the plans in place, limiting the ability to offer plans across state lines. The order also prevents plans from charging higher premiums or denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions.

Still, some groups are pushing ahead with plans. The farmers cooperative Land O’Lakes recently announced it was creating an association health plan for members. The National Restaurant Association unveiled an ACA-compliant plan earlier this year, although that plan had been in the works long before Trump’s order.