Focus at Four: 'Association health plans' and what they could do for you

The Trump Administration is working to finalize a special health insurance option for small firms and self-employed people.

The program would cost less but could cover fewer benefits than current plans.

These so-called "association health plans" would have to cover people with pre-existing health conditions. But, they could offer more specific benefits than required under the Obama-era health law.

They could be marketed across state lines to businesses in a common industry, or they could be sold to self-employed people.

Michael Morrisey, professor and researcher at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, studies employer-sponsored health insurance and the effects of legislation and regulation on health care. He says this could be good news for small business employees.

"The idea of what the new regulations do is they broaden the definition of an association," said Morrisey, "so that now a chamber of commerce, for example, could include anybody in the community as an association."

Morrisey says it could also provide lower-cost coverage, outside of the current marketplace.

"Right now, businesses with fewer than 50 employees don't have to provide coverage," said Morrisey. "So even limited benefits could be a good thing."

Morrisey also addresses how the existence of these health plans could affect the health insurance market as a whole. For more from Morrisey, see the video player above.