It’s always interesting when political parties switch basic tenants in an effort to undermined policy or legislation they don’t agree with. In the most recent example, a Republican led initiative is looking to take away States ability to regulate small business health plans and give the authority to the Labor Department, allowing healthcare companies to sell certain plans across state lines.
According to USA Today, “following an executive order last fall from President Trump, the department will expand what are known as association health plans (AHPs) in the coming weeks. These plans allow small businesses to band together to purchase health insurance in bulk, lowering prices and mitigating risk.”
The biggest issue plaguing small businesses in terms of healthcare has been the mandates. Today health insurance offered by companies are required to have a lot of pieces that make it unaffordable for small businesses with tight profit margins to offer. “In fact, the number of small businesses with fewer than 25 employees offering health insurance for their employees dropped by roughly one-third between 2008 and 2015.”
The new change will allow small businesses to offer cheaper packages to employees allowing some coverage versus none at the current moment.
The change will move the oversight of AHPs to the federal level and relax regulations surrounding them. It appears no limitation will be placed on the size of employer, which may be an issue for larger businesses looking to cut costs claiming small business status (if you don’t believe this is an issue, check out our articles on small business spend with the US government).
Regardless as a small business this is very much needed. Currently healthcare costs are exorbitant and almost doubling the cost to hire an employee. A smaller package for employees can help and allow for new early highers to stay on board for the first few years as a business grows.