Don’t get “Taken” by the Association Health Plan Hype

Last week, President Trump announced the release of the new Association Health Plan (AHP) rules that will “…rescue small business from the Obamacare nightmare…”  After reviewing the rule itself and talking with a number of stakeholders, I published a brief outline of the rule itself and my initial reactions.

This week the conversation continues and it made me think of two things.  First, the hype surrounding Private Exchanges.  Yes, I was a HUGE fan of private exchanges and spent several years working diligently to bring them to life.  I am still a huge fan of the concept, the execution left a little to be desired though as the industry poured money into new companies most of whom fell well short of promised capabilities.  Second, was the speech Liam Neeson gave in Taken (2008).

Of the associations I’ve spoken to over the past several days, not one said that they would like to wait and see how this plays out, they all indicated a willingness to rush, headlong into the fray.  While I don’t think that’s a bad idea, I do think that we should take a page from recent history.  I don’t have all the answers.

“What I do have are a very particular set of skills.  Skills I have acquired over a very long career.  Skills that make me an asset for people like you.”

While I’m not ex-CIA agent traveling the world bringing down Albanian human trafficking rings, I can help navigate the turbulent waters of AHPs.  If you’re an association, here are three questions you should be asking anyone that offers to help.

  1. What associations have you worked with in the past, which ones do you work with now and in what capacity?
  2. What experience do you have with fully-insured and self-funded plan design and administration for multi-employer groups?
  3. Can you demonstrate a functioning, end-to-end solution that supports micro-groups (1-10 employees), small groups (2-50) and larger groups?

Few will be able to provide super-solid answers to all three questions but some will.  If you’d like to learn more about how I can help your association get up to speed on and deploy an AHP, please let me know.  I would like nothing more than to help you build an invaluable benefit for your members.