By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional officials and business groups say the Trump administration is close to finalizing a health insurance option for small firms and self-employed people.

Called "association health plans," they could be marketed across state lines and are expected to cost less, but not cover as much.

The Labor Department could issue final regulations as early as Tuesday.

President Donald Trump has long promoted the sale of health insurance across state lines, saying it can lower premiums without sacrificing quality. Many experts aren't convinced, because medical costs vary by geography.

As originally proposed, the new plans would have to cover people with pre-existing health conditions. But they could offer narrower benefits than required under the Obama-era health law.

The idea's success depends on buy-in from plan sponsors, consumers, insurers and state regulators.

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