FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2018
Contact: Paydon Miller
(202) 734-6543 | paydon.miller@
Statement: Despite Unprecedented Opposition, Trump Administration Finalizes Expansion of Association Health Plans
Washington, DC – Young Invincibles is extremely disappointed by the Department of Labor’s decision today to finalize a rule to expand association health plans (AHPs), allowing small businesses and some individuals to band together based on industry or geography to offer coverage that skirts key consumer protections under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This announcement comes despite nearly every patient advocacy group, health care expert, and consumer advocate who submitted comments to the administration opposing this expansion.
In response to the final rule, Caitlin Morris, Policy and Research Director of Young Invincibles, issued the following statement:
“Despite massive opposition from the health care community, the Trump Administration has decided to expand AHPs, allowing the expansion of junk health insurance that is exempt from key consumer protections under the ACA. AHPs aren’t a real alternative to comprehensive, affordable health insurance because they aren’t required to cover the care that young people need, like maternity care, mental health care, or perscription drugs. This decision will leave young adults at risk of being denied essential care, putting their health and finances in jeopardy.
More than any other age group, young people have benefited from the Affordable Care Act and its protections which help ensure quality coverage and financial security. This rule will take too many young people back to the days where their coverage didn’t meet their needs. This administration continues to systematically attempt to dismantle a law that benefits millions of young people and their ability to get the care they need.”
The final rule would exempt AHPs from complying with consumer protections mandated by the ACA, such as requiring plans cover the ten essential health benefits and guaranteeing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. This change means that young people would be unlikely to find coverage through an AHP that covers services they use the most, like maternity coverage, mental health services, or even prescription drug coverage. It will also put them at risk of being denied claims, leaving them to front the full cost of care with little opportunity for relief.