These plans allow small businesses to band together to purchase insurance more affordably than traditional group health plans. AHPs must comply with some of the requirements of the ACA but not all. They must include preventive care coverage without charging consumers anything out of pocket, allow children to stay on the plan until age 26, not discriminate against individuals with pre-existing conditions, cover maternity care (for employers with 15+ employees), comply with annual out of pocket limits and not impose annual or lifetime limits.
AHPs can charge more based on gender, age, and location, and industry (plans in higher risk industries would cost more) and are not required to include the 10 essential health benefits. The Trump administration loosened rules for AHPs in June 2018, clearing the way for more of these types of plans to enter the market.