Advisors and broker-dealers might be among those who get greater access to health coverage with the expansion of association health plans — and a new group is working toward that very end.

So says the Coalition to Protect and Promote Association Health Plans, a new group of 16 organizations that have joined forces to collaborate with state and federal policymakers. Their goal? To balance regulation of AHPs with enough flexibility to enable organizations to provide coverage through AHPs for their members.

The Financial Services Institute came out in favor of the proposed rule back in February.

But now that final regulations allow national trade associations and franchisee-based corporations to offer small employer and/or independent contractor members the same type of health coverage “large” employers offer to their employees, the coalition says it will work to ensure that that flexibility provides opportunity without additional risk.

FSI, along with 15 other member organizations, has taken another step with the formation of the coalition. The group issued a statement that says in part, “Our coalition intends to develop standards and principles that other organizations operating an AHP should follow, and we plan to fight against fraudulent actors to ensure the AHP market evolves into a viable, successful marketplace.”

FSI, for its part, said in a statement, “Our financial advisor and small firm members are in great need of quality, affordable health care,” adding, “We should be doing everything possible to lower rates and offer quality plans for as many Americans as possible. Our coalition will work tirelessly to ensure access goes up and rates come down.”

The steering committee of the new group includes, in addition to FSI, the American Farm Bureau Federation; American Society of Association Executives; American Veterinary Medical Association; Associated Employers Benefit & Trust; Association of Web-Based Health Insurance Brokers; Foundation for Government Accountability; Indiana Credit Union League; International Franchise Association; Michigan Dental Association; National Apartment Association; National Association of Realtors; NFIB; National Restaurant Association; National Marine Manufacturers Association; and the Transportation Intermediaries Association.