Harrisburg, PA - Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman today issued the following statement on the federal government’s final rule on the expansion of Association Health Plans (AHPs):
“It is extremely disappointing that the Trump Administration is willing to jeopardize the health of consumers as it actively seeks to dismantle the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA). Despite statements to the contrary, the reality is that this final rule opens the door to allow for substandard coverage that will limit consumers’ access to comprehensive health care.
“Most AHPs do not have to provide ACA-mandated minimum essential health benefits and prescription drug coverage. This may be confusing for consumers who shift from current comprehensive coverage to substandard AHP coverage as a result of this rule. Transition to less restrictive rules could jeopardize the health of consumers who rely on certain basic and critical services.
“I’m also very concerned that the rule will have a ripple effect on the entire market that will be felt by all consumers. The rule could lead to younger, healthier consumers opting for cheaper AHPs and leaving the individual and small group markets, which would inevitably increase premiums for consumers still in those markets. I am also worried AHPs could be deceptively marketed as providing the comprehensive coverage that ACA-compliant plans provide, leaving consumers with large medical bills when they access services that may not be covered under their AHP.
“As the federal government moves forward to implement this rule, the Insurance Department will be closely monitoring its impact and will take every necessary step to ensure that consumers are protected.”
In March, Altman submitted comments on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to the Department of Labor highlighting several significant concerns about the rule and offering recommendations to ensure that the final rule will include important consumer protections.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ron Ruman - 717-787-3289
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