Association Health Plans Q&A

Q: When will the plans be available?

The new rule will be phased in starting in September. It’s uncertain how soon after that date plans will be offered.

Q: The ACA added some popular protections, including requiring plans to cover preventive care without charging consumers anything out-of-pocket and allowing people to keep their kids on their plan until they reach age 26. How will these provisions be handled under association health plans?

Those provisions still apply to association health plans.

Q: How are preexisting medical conditions handled in the new rule?

Association health plans that are established under the new rule won’t be allowed to discriminate against individuals if they’re sick. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that people with preexisting medical conditions won’t encounter roadblocks in finding affordable, comprehensive coverage.

In the final rule, the administration lays out a variety of circumstances that could affect affordability. For example, an association plan could charge companies that employ construction workers higher premiums than firms that are in the hospitality business. The rule also allows plans to charge different rates based on gender, age and location.