NU Online News Service, May 23, 2003, 4:25 p.m. EDT – The National Conference of Insurance Legislators, Albany, N.Y., has published a “Point/Counterpoint” debate about the “association health plan” concept in its May newsletter.
AHP advocates want to let small businesses buy health coverage through national associations. The national association coverage would be exempt from state insurance regulation and state insurance mandates.
The newsletter editor notes that NCOIL has opposed AHPs, arguing that federal oversight might weaken consumer protection.
Mary Nell Lehnhard, a senior vice president with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Chicago, has written the article attacking AHP proposals.
“Exempting AHPs from state regulation will allow them to cherry-pick younger, healthier beneficiaries,” Lehnhard warns. “AHPs will be able to raise rates for sicker groups.”