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The Future of Association Plans – Part 2

90% of all businesses belong to an Association – trade groups, chambers of commerce, or a special interest association. The marketplace is strong, and chambers offer the most cost-effective way for small businesses to purchase various business services for their employees. Association plans also offer a delivery system for many needed services to small businesses, so small business owners can spend more time focused on various employer issues and less time on paperwork.

Good associations have trust from their members, so if an association vets an insurance plan the members will purchase and stay with the association. Most small businesses can’t afford to spend time on forms, banking, benefits for their employees, and an association plan offers those services in addition to the health and benefits plans.

Healthcare reform has started looking at limited trade and broad association plans again as a great delivery system for small businesses and employers. A bi-partisan commission needs to determine the next course of action for association plans – focusing on what is most important for small businesses and their employees. The future is uncertain for healthcare reform, but hopefully new legislation will keep what is good and improve what isn’t working when it comes to association healthcare plans.