The IMA Health Plan is an Association Health Plan (AHP) that conforms with several decades of Department of Labor (DOL) guidance. While AHPs are nothing new, the Trump Administration gave them new life when an Executive Order was issued in October of 2017 directing the Secretary of Labor and DOL to liberalize the conditions under which small employers can unite and procure group health benefits for their employees under an AHP arrangement.
The premise for this expansion of healthcare access through an AHP is several fold:
- Large employers often are able to obtain better terms on health insurance for their employees than small employers because of their larger pools of insurable individuals across which they can spread risk and administrative costs.
- Expanding access to AHPs can help small businesses overcome this competitive disadvantage by allowing them to group together to self-insure or purchase large group health insurance.
- Expanding access to AHPs will also allow more small businesses to avoid many of the Affordable Care Act’s costly requirements.
- Expanding access to AHPs would provide more affordable health insurance options to many Americans, including hourly wage earners, farmers, and the employees of small businesses and entrepreneurs that fuel economic growth.