Nov 13, 2018 - Health

Association health plans defy critics' fears

Association health plans — one of the options the Trump administration has expanded as an alternative to Affordable Care Act coverage — are a lot more comprehensive than some of their critics had feared, Modern Healthcare reports.

The big picture: So far, most of the plans taking advantage of the administration’s new rules at least claim to cover pre-existing conditions and comport with most of the ACA’s benefit requirements, even though they don’t always have to.

Details: Modern Healthcare reviewed plan documents for several association plans in Nebraska, and found that they “feature a range of deductibles and appear to provide coverage for each category of essential health benefits.”

  • Even with that generous coverage, premiums are in some cases 15%–25% lower than the cost of an individual policy sold through the exchanges.

This was foreseeable. Trump expanded association health plans alongside short-term health plans. Experts told me at the time that they thought short-term plans were a much bigger threat to the ACA and would be more likely to offer skimpier benefits.

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