An association healthcare plan is a method of providing the advantages of a large group health insurance plan enjoyed by larger corporations, the federal government, or state governments for small businesses and individuals. Associations based on a shared profession, a line of business, or even just a geographic location, such as a state or city, can offer group health insurance with the ability to negotiate savings from healthcare providers and pharmacies. Membership in an association health insurance program also provides cost savings for premiums.
Let us suppose that you are the owner of a mom and pop eatery and want to provide your employees some good health insurance, but the number of people who work for you does not rise above the threshold of a large group as defined by your state’s regulator. In that instance, a restaurant association might offer a health insurance plan for its members, with the number of premium-paying members easily being above the cutoff line of a large group, thus qualifying for savings.
If you happen to be self-employed or a freelancer, the same idea applies. Say an association of everything from accountants to freelance writers or musicians can offer an association healthcare plan, rendering tremendous savings over individual health plans.
Individual health insurance plans in the United States are very expensive and have such huge deductibles that often having such a plan is the equivalent of not having one, despite the member paying huge premiums. Association healthcare plans provide an alternative to paying through the nose for health insurance or doing without it for people who don’t work for large employers.
Health insurance reform has been a contentious political issue in the United States for decades. Association healthcare plans, in the view of many, provide at least part of an answer to getting more people affordable insurance.
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