Small Business Advocacy Group Welcomes Proposed Rule on Association Health Plans

By at 4 January, 2018, 12:43 pm


“…the burden of obscene health coverage costs must be addressed…”

Washington, D.C. – The crushing cost of health coverage is a massive pain point for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and as such the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) welcomed today’s release of a proposed rule by the Department of Labor aimed at making Association Health Plans (AHPs) or Small Business Health Plans (SBHPs) a reality for the millions of businesses and self-employed Americans that desperately need affordable options.

SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan issued the following statement in response to the release of the proposed rulemaking:

“Health coverage costs have become unbearable for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Without meaningful action to curb costs or provide affordable choices, these rising costs will continue to weigh down the growth of small businesses and their ability to effectively compete.  Many tax and regulatory changes enacted during 2017 have been a big positive for small businesses and our economy, but the burden of obscene health coverage costs must be addressed to enable entrepreneurial firms to reach their full growth potential. That is why we welcome the proposed changes to association health plans, which are intended to fix current restrictions and barriers that prevent small businesses and entrepreneurs from using their market power and membership in associations to negotiate and access affordable health coverage for themselves and their employees.”

The proposal would expand the types of groups that can create an AHP, allow for membership across state lines, and allow self-employed and “gig” economy workers to participate in AHPs, among other changes.  According to Kerrigan, SBE Council will continue to review the proposed rulemaking and provide comments and, if warranted, suggestions for improvements. The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on Association Health Plans will be published in the Federal Register on January 5, and there will be a 60-day comment period. SBE Council also continues to work on other legislative initiatives and policy changes to bring down the cost of health coverage and health care such as repealing Obamacare’s health insurance tax (HIT), the Cadillac tax, the medical device tax, and improvements to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) as well as regulatory changes being considered by the Administration to short-term plans, health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) and other measures to bring more competition and choices to the marketplace.


Karen Kerrigan,  

Raymond Keating, Chief Economist,


SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy, research and education organization that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship. For nearly 25 years SBE Council has worked to successfully implement a range of policy and private sector initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for startups and small business growth. To learn more, visit SBE Council’s website: Follow on Twitter: @SBECouncil


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