NATA has expressed its pleasure that the House passed H.R. 525, the “Small Business Health Fairness Act.” If the Senate approves the bill, the legislation would allow businesses to pool together to receive health insurance through their trade association. Such plans, known as Association Health Plans (AHPs), currently exist only on the state level. H.R. 525 will exempt AHPs from individual state regulations, much like the health plans large corporations or labor unions offer employees. The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas), has passed the House twice before, although both times the Senate has not considered the measure. It has been estimated that AHPs could save small businesses as much as 30 percent on their insurance premiums each year.
NATA president James Coyne said, “Association health plans can provide a great opportunity for most NATA members to obtain health insurance for their employees at a significantly reduced cost. More than 75 percent of NATA member companies have fewer than 20 employees, and this legislation will enhance their competitive edge by both lowering their administrative costs and allowing them to keep and attract valuable employees.” The bill now moves to the Senate