Department of Labor Rule Allows for AHPs
What the Association Health Plan Rule Means for REALTORS®
The U.S Department of Labor (DOL) has finalized its long-awaited Association Health Plan (AHP) rule to expand the definition of "employer" to include "working owners" in June 2018. This change allows real estate professionals and other self-employed individuals to participate in AHPs - a key provision advocated for inclusion NAR.
The ruling was a major step forward for NAR's long-standing advocacy efforts to expand AHP eligibility to independent contractors. The ruling allows NAR to keep up its ongoing evaluation of potential options for expanding REALTORS®’ access to new health insurance coverage. It does not mean a REALTOR® AHP will be available in the near term, but illustrates continued necessary action allowing for exploring such options.
What is next?
The road from the DOL ruling to the availability of an AHP is long and not without potential detours. Legal and other challenges continue to delay implementation of the rule, especially for any national options.
NAR has been advocating for an AHP solution for decades as a means to expand access to health insurance options for REALTORS® and this final rule makes AHPs one-step closer to achieving that goal. The result of our advocacy efforts, the strategic recommendations of our Member Benefits Team, and consulting with health insurance experts have positioned NAR to continue analyzing a potential AHP option in a comprehensive process while tackling ongoing barriers to implementation in an effort to exploring the best quality and most affordable health insurance for members and their families. NAR cautions that development of any AHP options remains a long process and may not meet the health insurance coverage needs of all members.
Where can I find more information?
NAR's Health Care Reform topic page contains a number of resources on NAR advocacy efforts concerning health insurance availability, including policy statements, Congressional testimony and comment letters to regulatory agencies. Explore the issue in depth.
Department of Labor Rule Information
Department of Labor Rule - The complete text of the AHP rule
Q&As: DOL's Association Health Plan Rule - Guidance on the court ruling to address outstanding questions related to AHP operations
Legal Challenge Update: AHPs - Information on the lawsuit filed against the DOL's Labor rule
Department of Labor Guidance - Association Health Plans - ERISA Compliance Assistance