The Trump administration is making it easier for small businesses to band together to buy health insurance for their employees.
The Department of Labor released a new rule governing Association Health Plans, or AHPs. It expands the way small business can come together, allowing them to form groups based on geography or industry. It also allows self-employed individuals to join these groups.
AHPs have been around for decades, and they allow business owners to negotiate lower health insurance prices. But opponents of the Trump administration's move worry about the impact on employees' coverage levels.
The Affordable Care Act established 10 "essential health benefits" that insurance plans in the individual and small group markets must cover. But AHPs are part of the large group market and don't have to meet the same minimum coverage standards.
The new rule is the result of an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in October.