Thompson Issues Statement on Newly Announced Department of Labor Health Care Rule
WASHINGTON – U.S. Representatives Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson released a statement in response to the U.S. Department of Labor’s new rule that expands health care access for millions of Americans who are employed by small businesses.
Many small businesses and their employees have struggled with government restrictions that limit access to quality, affordable health coverage. This Association Health Plan (AHP) reform will address many of the inequities between small and large businesses in access to that coverage.
This reform allows small employers – many of whom are facing much higher premiums and fewer coverage options as a result of Obamacare – a greater ability to join together and gain many of the regulatory advantages enjoyed by large employers.
“Today, the Department of Labor released a rule that will make health insurance more affordable to America’s hard working small business owners,” said Rep. Thompson, a senior member of the House Education & the Workforce Committee. “The new rule expands association health plans, allowing more small businesses in the same industry, state or geographical region to come together to buy insurance in the large employer market, giving them more purchasing power and lower premiums. Association health insurance plans will provide affordable health care to farmers, florists, waitresses and their families. Today’s new rule is another win for the American worker.”
Under the Department’s new rule, 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. These plans will also be able to reduce administrative costs and strengthen negotiating power with providers from larger risk pools and greater economies of scale.
Information about the rule and other resources are available on the Department’s website.