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Press Release

Thursday, March 23

U.S. House passes legislation strengthening Association Health Plans

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler leads successful amendment ensuring existing plans not disrupted

OLYMPIA — The Association of Washington Business offers its thanks to U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler for successfully amending the Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 1101), which passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives this week.

H.R. 1101 strengthens association health plans (AHPs), which provide health insurance for some 400,000 Washingtonians. The amendment clarifies that AHPs already in place — like in Washington — may continue operating as they have in compliance with existing state and federal laws.

“Washington state has a thriving AHP market dating to 1995 when bipartisan legislation allowed them to become an option for small employers,” said AWB President Kris Johnson. “They were created in response to demand from small employers and their success is evidence that this is a part of the market that’s working. In the case of AWB’s HealthChoice association health plan, roughly 40 percent of employers did not previously offer health coverage.

“Congresswoman Herrera Beutler understands the vital role that existing AHPs play in providing health coverage to small employers and their employees, and we are grateful for her effort to amend H.R. 1101 and to her colleagues in the U.S. House who also voted for the measure,” Johnson said.

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