One challenge for all employers – and in particular family-owned businesses with less than one-hundred employees – is making available affordable health care options. Association health plans aggregate the purchasing power of smaller employers to help create affordability. Association health plans also address competitiveness by providing benefit coverages that mirror the benefits provided by larger competitors in an industry. Association health plans have operated successfully in Washington and other states for more than two decades. Recent regulatory changes at the federal level are intended to open up the association health plan market across the nation.

For family-owned businesses with operations in Washington, New Association Health Plans (Part 1 of 2): Effect on the Washington State Group Health Market summarizes the impact of the new regulations on AHPs in Washington. For family-owned businesses that work with gig workers, New Association Health Plans (Part 2 of 2): Coverage of Individual Working Owners discusses how the new regulations may make available coverage for working owners.

Jason Froggatt practices employee benefits law, advising clients on employee retirement plans, plan qualification and plan fiduciary duties. Jason regularly counsels group health plans and their plan sponsors with respect to ERISA, COBRA and HIPAA compliance, and represents employee plans and plan sponsors with the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service. He also works extensively on equity-based compensation, including establishing stock option and employee stock ownership plans. Contact Jason at or directly at 206.757.8045.