Association health plans (AHPs) are health benefit policies made available to small employers through a group purchasing arrangement for the benefit of association members and their employees.
Under the old rules, AHP availability was limited to tightly linked employers (such as parent-child companies). Under new regulations issued by the Department of Labor on June 19, "an AHP now could offer coverage to some or all employers in a state, city, county, or a multi-state metro area, or it could offer coverage to businesses in a trade or industry group nationwide."
The term "now" in that statement is somewhat misleading, as AHPs won't kick in until April 2019 for new associations creating self-funded plans. Existing AHPs will be able to reconstitute themselves under the new regulations in September.