A federal judge’s ruling against a type of health insurance plan designed for small business owners has some companies now thinking about what to do next.
The plans known as association health plans allowed sole proprietors and other business owners to band together to buy insurance at reduced rates. The attorneys general in 11 states and the District of Columbia successfully argued that the plans, part of a Trump administration policy, violated the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. U.S. District Judge John D. Bates said late Friday the plans were “clearly an end-run” around ACA provisions aimed at protecting consumers.
Rules allowing association health plans began going into effect less than six months ago, and according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which studies trends in health care, only a few plans have been announced. Those that have been set up are now in limbo — a Justice Department spokeswoman said after Bates’ ruling that the administration is “considering all available options,” including an appeal.
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