Sturm appeared at a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) subcommittee hearing on the proposal, which could let small employers team up to buy coverage through existing groups, or through new groups formed solely to buy health coverage.
The other witnesses at the hearing are strong supporters, or firm opponents, of the AHP concept.
Sturm said he simply wants policymakers and others to understand their options, not to take a position on the proposal.
What Your Peers Are Reading
“I’m in the middle here,” he said. “Probably in more ways than one.”
Sturm’s remarks could shape what key senators think about the AHP proposal, and whether and how it ends up shaping the kinds of small-group plans that agents and brokers might encounter in the real world.
Proposed AHP Regulations
Many employer groups, and some benefits brokers, have been working on AHP proposals for years.
Supporters of the proposals hope that AHP will increase small employers’ bargaining power.
Many supporters also hope that small employers will enjoy the same freedom from state and federal small-group coverage rules that large and midsize employers with self-funded health plans now enjoy.
The House has passed many AHP bills over the years. In the past, those bills have died in the Senate.