Association Health Plans Will Not Provide Meaningful Insurance Coverage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Thursday, January 4, 2018

Statement attributable to:
Michael Munger, MD
President
American Academy of Family Physicians

“The American Academy of Family Physicians is very concerned by the proposed regulation from the Trump Administration allowing small employers to buy low-cost health insurance plans through association health plans. This regulation is a step away from consumer protections under the Affordable Care Act because association health plans would be exempt from ACA's essential health benefits requirements. As a result, insurers could discriminate against any individual based on their health status, age or gender. This is concerning.

“These association health plans, available to organizations representing a group of individuals, would allow insurers to sell narrow, low-cost health plans that do not provide meaningful coverage. While we acknowledge that these plans may extend limited access to coverage for currently uninsured individuals, we worry that this is a real-life example of ‘you get what you pay for’ and the coverage guaranteed under these plans would be neither adequate nor meaningful. Women and older, sicker Americans would likely face higher costs and fewer affordable insurance options.

“The AAFP strongly supports the goal of providing robust access to affordable health care coverage for all Americans, but these association health plans likely move us further away from that goal. The Administration needs to find a way to accomplish this goal without undermining the comprehensive insurance coverage on which Americans rely. We remain committed to a health care system that is equitable for all Americans.”

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Munger, contact Leslie Champlin, 800-274-2237, Ext. 5224, or lchampli@aafp.org.

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 131,400 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

To learn more about the AAFP and family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. Follow us on Twitter,(twitter.com) and like us on Facebook. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).