Recently, the Trump Administration issued an Executive Order that, among other things, ordered the Department of Labor (DOL) to explore expansion of association health plans (AHPs) by broadening the scope of ERISA to allow employers within the same line of business across the country to join together in a group health plan. The Secretary of Labor has 60 days to consider proposing regulations or revising guidance.

United Benefit Advisors is keeping a close eye on this potential change in regulations, and in the event substantive movement is made towards allowing AHPs, UBA is poised to begin working on how our organization can take advantage of this new opportunity. We agree that there is no better organization or group of brokers to help associations who are interested in exploring this.

However, as we noted in our compliance advisor on the executive order, this type of expansion would require considerable effort with all state departments of insurance and key stakeholders across the industry. The Secretary of Labor has 60 days to “consider proposing regulations” and in the event they move forward, proposed regulations would have to be drafted, put forward for public comment, and finalized. Even on a fast-track, we are months from having any substantive information on how AHPs might be regulated. Furthermore, various sources in Washington D.C. have indicated that there is considerable work in bringing all 50 state Insurance Commissioners into agreement on how these plans should be regulated.

UBA’s Executive Staff will continue to monitor this topic closely and will provide any updates should they arise.

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