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Society submits comments on proposed association health plan rule

The Wisconsin Medical Society submitted comments last week to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on its proposed rule regarding association health plans (AHPs).

AHPs, such as the one available to Society members, allow smaller employers to combine buying power and purchase health care coverage at a more competitive rate than they could by themselves. As written, the proposed rule would make it challenging for AHPs to continue to operate. The Society’s AHP currently partners with 22 employers and covers more than 1100 individuals.

In the comments, Society CEO Bud Chumbley highlighted “chief concerns,” which include the rule’s pricing components, lack of a transition period and/or grandfathering status, confusion regarding the preemption of federal and state law, and the potential weakening of patient protections.

Meanwhile, the Society continues to advocate for legislation at the state level that would supercede the federal rule. On Monday, Wisconsin Medical Society Holdings CEO Linda Syth and Society member John Maher, MD, testified before the Senate Committee on Insurance, Financial Services, Constitution and Federalism in support of SB 806.

This bill would allow the establishment of employer groups to jointly provide health care benefits on a self-funded basis to the employers’ eligible employees and their dependents under a health care benefit arrangement. Its companion bill AB AB 920, passed the State Assembly last month. The State Senate’s next, and likely final floor period for this legislative biennium is week of March 20.

If you have questions, contact H.J. Waukau or Peter Welch in the Society’s Government Relations Department.

Back to March 8, 2018 Medigram