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Senator Brophy McGee leads discussion on expansion of health plans for small businesses in Arizona

Senator Kate Brophy McGee met with business, health care and insurance industry leaders today to get answers on how Arizona can respond to newly issued federal rules relating to Association Health Plans. These changes will enable small employers to band together to purchase health care coverage, gaining negotiating power to make benefit coverage more affordable.

The Department of Labor's new rule provides greater flexibility to expand coverage for small businesses that have expressed interest in forming Association Health Plans. Senator Brophy McGee, who will Chair the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services in January, is hearing from organizations that clear guidance is needed to move forward to construct responsible insurance pooling plans.

"We are building a runway to launch marketplace flexibility in Arizona," said Senator Brophy McGee. "We hope these innovations will take off."

"The Affordable Care Act fell short in providing affordable health care options for small businesses. This new rule will fill the gap. I also want to ensure that transparency and consumer protection is factored into any plan."

Senator Brophy McGee said she will move forward with a bill to address one key issue at a minimum. Arizona defines a small business as having "two to fifty employees". She wants to modernize the definition to reflect the growing entrepreneurship industry where sole proprietors are a key demographic and are excluded from coverage under the old rules.

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