President Trump signed a new rule making it easier for small businesses to join forces and set up health plans that avoid many of the expensive ObamaCare rules. The new plans will be called "Association Health Plans" and they could be available as soon as September, 2018.
What do these news plans look like? No telling since they are not able to deny coverage or charge higher rates for pre-existing conditions. These are two of the things that drive up costs in the small group market, so what's different about the new plans? That is a big question and based on what I am reading I don't see the attraction for the insurance carriers who are risk averse to begin with.
For many small groups "Limited Funding" a type of self-insurance can accomplish what we think the Association plans are trying to do. "Limited Funding" plans allow you to underwrite your group medically and if you are healthy, you can qualify for much lower rates than the ACA pricing. This strategy has worked very well for many of our groups but you have to be healthy for it to work.
More to come, at least they are trying different ideas to see what might work bring costs back down.