You are here:HomeIssuesHealth Care Reform2003Sen. Talent Expresses Support for AHPs at Washington, D.C. Forum

Sen. Talent Expresses Support for AHPs at Washington, D.C. Forum

Sen. Jim Talent (R-Missouri) expressed support for legislation that would allow for federally regulated Association Health Plans (AHPs) during a workshop last week sponsored by...
May 12, 2003

Sen. Jim Talent (R-Missouri) expressed support for legislation that would allow for federally regulated Association Health Plans (AHPs) during a workshop last week sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). PIA participated in the session.

Sen. Talent reiterated his support for H.R. 660 and S. 545. The House Employer-Employee Relations Subcommittee recently approved H.R. 660 that would allow for AHPs, and full-committee mark-up of the bill in the Committee on Education and the Workforce is expected at any time. Currently there are 133 cosponsors in the House for the bill. H.R. 660 amends Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to improve access and choice for entrepreneurs with small businesses with respect to medical care for their employees. This is accomplished by extending ERISA to cover AHPs.

What It Means to Agents:  It depends on who you believe. Advocates of the AHP proposals argue that enactment would increase both access and affordability of health insurance by allowing membership associations to offer plans under the federal ERISA statutes. Opponents, including the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), say doing so would run counter to the principle of state insurance regulation and allow insurers to "cherry pick" healthy risks, leaving others with less access and higher premiums.

Filed under: