First Broad-Based Study of New Association Health Plans Released

by Kev Coleman


The first broad-based analysis of association health plans (AHPs) launched under the new Department of Labor AHP regulation was released today. The study was limited to new AHPs that were active in the market, as opposed to announced but not available. The study examined a variety of characteristics of these new AHPs including:

  • Type (professional or regional)
  • State of operation
  • Funding mechanism (fully-insured or self-funded)
  • Average number of plan options within an AHP
  • Availability of medical savings accounts
  • Benefits
  • Savings
  • Employer size requirements for joining the AHP

Among the findings were:

  • New AHPs are already available in 13 states
  • Regional associations launched 71% of new AHPs
  • Vast majority of new regional associations are chamber of commerce-based
  • 4 out of 5 new AHPs are insured through a third-party insurance company as opposed to self-funded
  • Maximum savings claims average higher for self-funded plans than fully-insured plans, though both are in double digits
  • Half of offer medical savings account options such as a HSA
  • Multi-state professional association health plans are in planning but are taking longer to reach the market
  • Half of new AHPs are limited to companies of 2-50 employees
  • 43 percent of new AHPs are available to sole proprietors and the self-employed
  • Benefit information trends toward comprehensive health coverage that includes items such as mental health benefits and prescription drug coverage alongside mandated benefits such as maternity

For the complete findings as well as the study’s methodology, see “First Phase of New Association Health Plans Reveal Promising Trends.”