A federal rule released Tuesday will allow the Wisconsin Medical Society’s Association Health Plan, which currently provides insurance coverage for more than 1,100 people and 22 employer groups, to continue in current form.
The Society had expressed concerns to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and members of Congress since the DOL released its proposed association health plan (AHP) rule in January. Intended to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses, the proposed rule as written would have made it difficult for the Society’s Association Health Plan Trust to continue to operate. Instead, “the new rule does not affect previously existing AHPs, which were allowed under prior guidance,” the DOL stated in this press release.
“This is great news for our members,” said Society CEO Bud Chumbley, MD. “It will allow the Society’s association health plan to continue providing Wisconsin physicians with access to affordable, comprehensive health benefits for themselves and their staffs.”
The final rule maintains some broad patient protections mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), such as coverage for pre-existing conditions. And while the Society’s plan offers comprehensive coverage, the essential health benefits of the ACA are no longer required.
DOL held a briefing yesterday to provide clarification on questions regarding the final rule. Watch Medigram for more information as it becomes available or contact Lisa Davidson, vice president of Advocacy and Membership if you have questions.
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