Association Health Plans : Affordable health insurance options for small businesses following COVID-19

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Small businesses are an indispensable engine of entrepreneurship and job creation in the United States. In 2018, small businesses made up three-quarters of all firms. However, small businesses have fewer resources at their disposal to recruit and attract workers than larger firms, especially in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, which has strapped countless businesses for cash across the United States. As a result, their ability to invest in their employees and compete for labor is far more limited.

As states begin to reopen their economies and transition to a post-coronavirus world, small businesses facing severe financial and market pressures will need to find ways to build their businesses, maintain and provide for their employees, and expand. Their need for affordable health insurance will be greater than ever as Americans’ minds are on the public health crisis and the needs of their families.

Unfortunately, an uneven playing field exists which forces small businesses to pay more for health coverage, pricing many of them out of the market altogether. As costs have skyrocketed, fewer and fewer small businesses have been able to offer coverage to their workers.

Thankfully, new rules finalized by the Trump administration could offer small businesses a new path to offer affordable health coverage for their workers. Unfortunately, some states still have prohibitive regulatory frameworks that keep small businesses from being able to take advantage of this new federal flexibility.