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SB1085 Creates a New Pathway for Association Health Plans, Allowing Small Employers to Band Together to Purchase Better Coverage Options
Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation to give small businesses better access to health coverage on May 8, 2019. The Arizona Technology Council, along with a group of local associations and business leaders, were able to successfully lobby support for the bill introduced by State Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, SB1085. This legislation enables tens of thousands of Arizonans to obtain quality and affordable health coverage by providing a new pathway for employer groups and associations to offer fully insured and self-insured Association Health Plans (AHPs).
The Arizona Technology Council appreciates Sen. Brophy McGee for her leadership on this issue. Providing affordable, quality health insurance options to small businesses, sole proprietors and their employees should not be a partisan issue and the Council would like to thank the following Democratic representatives and senators for crossing the line to support this option for affordable, quality healthcare.
“The rising cost of health insurance is one of the biggest challenges facing our smaller member companies and startups,” said Steven G. Zylstra, the Council’s president and CEO. “The signing of SB1085 is a critical step towards overcoming this issue. The Council would like to thank Governor Ducey, Sen. Brophy McGee, and legislators on both side of the aisle for their support and votes to pass this legislation.”
The Council also partnered with an extensive list of professional associations including the Arizona Association of Realtors, Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Chandler Chamber of Commerce, and others, to successfully gain support for SB1085.
Permissible by U.S. Department of Labor rules, the new Arizona legislation allows employer groups and associations the ability to offer either fully funded or self-insured AHPs by banding together on the basis of geography and industry for more substantial purchasing power. These new AHPs provide small businesses the types of coverage currently available only to large employers, and let working owners and sole proprietors plus their families join and experience substantial savings.
AHPs give employer groups and associations greater flexibility in designing health insurance plans to meet the needs of their members at lower costs. The lower costs of health insurance will lead participating small businesses to provide more generous overall compensation packages to their employees, a critical factor in helping technology companies acquire talent.
Providing technology companies with better healthcare options is a key priority of the Council. For more information on the Council’s legislative priorities in 2019, please visit www.aztechcouncil.org/public-policy.
About the Arizona Technology Council
The Arizona Technology Council is Arizona’s premier trade association for science and technology companies. Recognized as having a diverse professional business community, Council members work towards furthering the advancement of technology in Arizona through leadership, education, legislation and social action. The Council offers numerous events, educational forums and business conferences that bring together leaders, visionaries and community members to make an impact on the technology industry. These interactions contribute to the Council’s culture of growing member businesses and transforming technology in Arizona. To become a member or to learn more about the Arizona Technology Council, please visit www.aztechcouncil.org.
Steven G. Zylstra
Arizona Technology Council
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