A group of Republican senators led by Wyoming’s Senator Mike Enzi introduced legislation this week to prevent thousands of people from losing their health care coverage after a federal judge struck down the Department of Labor’s Association Health Plans rule. This rule would have made it easier for small businesses to band together to provide their employees with comprehensive and affordable health insurance that has the same consumer protections that apply to large employer health plans. The proposed legislation will ensure the new pathway remains available for small businesses to offer Association Health Plans under the Department of Labor’s final rule. Association Health Plans are intended to allow small businesses to group together and leverage power in numbers to obtain comprehensive and affordable health insurance as though they were a single large employer. The coverage offered to association members is subject to the consumer protection requirements that apply to the nearly 160 million Americans who receive coverage from large employers.
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