Association Health Plans

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Association Health Plans


If you own a restaurant, plumbing company or other small business, you may be able to join an association sponsored health plan.

Association Health Plans (AHPs) will have to abide by some consumer and anti-discrimination protections much like large businesses have to.

AHPs may not charge higher premiums or deny coverage to people because of pre-existing conditions.

AHPs do not have to provide the same benefits as a Marketplace plan. As result they are often called "skimpy plans."

♦ Association plans have long been a favorite of Republicans, existing before the ACA.

• Supporters say they are a way to pool groups of businesses together to get better premium rates.

• Some plans faced problems in the past, including bankruptcy or complaints that they misled consumers by not fully informing them about what is covered.

March 30, 2019 — U.S. District Judge John D. Bates concluded that the Trump administration’s policy changes to push skimpy associated health plans were unlawful and must be set aside.

The judge's order doesn't do much to existing plans unless the states or federal regulators choose to enforce the ruling.

♦ Not to be confused with Short-term Health Insurance which targets individuals rather than groups.

Short-term plans can refuse coverage based on pre-existing conditions. They can also charge different prices based on age, gender and health condition.

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