Insurance plan binder Tennessee REALTORS® recently launched one of the first AHPs for a professional association after a survey of members showed strong interest in the kinds of benefits that could be provided. (Photo: Shutterstock)

For all the dire warnings about the new association health plans (AHPs) that were enabled under an updated U.S. Department of Labor rule last summer, they actually may be just what the doctor ordered for small businesses (along with sole proprietors and the self-employed).

That doesn’t mean there aren’t provisos. But AHPs are gaining traction as they trend toward offering comprehensive benefits and double digit cost savings, according data. If such trends hold, they’ll go a long way toward countering concerns that the plans would provide neither while putting consumers at risk of fraudulent action by new groups entering the market.

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