The December/January 2006 issue of Health Affairs, a Health Policy Journal, includes an article by our researchers:
Association Health Plans: WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s All The Fuss About?
The presumption that association health coverage has more market clout is not necessarily borne out by the evidence.
by Mila Kofman, Kevin Lucia, Eliza Bangit, and Karen Pollitz
ABSTRACT: Policy makers have tried to address the problem of the uninsured and to help small businesses with rising premiums by encouraging associations to offer coverage. Although supporters and opponents have made claims about the potential impact of this strategy, the association market has not been studied in depth. Examining current standards might explain why proponents seek changes. This paper discusses statesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ approaches to regulating health insurance offered by associations, including Ã¢â‚¬Å“self-insurance,Ã¢â‚¬? as well as existing state exemptions from state insurance laws that otherwise would apply to coverage sold to small businesses, self-employed people, and individual purchasers. We also examine market problems such as insolvency and fraud.