NAR Association Health Plan Policy
NAR remains committed to vigorously engaging insurers and pursuing nationwide and/or regional options that offer additional health insurance options to members.
Association Health Plans (AHP)
On June 21, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a new rule opening the door for small employers and self-employed individuals, including real estate professionals, to participate in Association Health Plans (AHPs).
What is an AHP?
AHPs are "large group" plans that tend to offer better coverage options at lower cost than the "individual" and "small group" insurance markets. Currently many NAR members typically purchase their health coverage in the individual or small group markets, which tend to have higher costs and limited options.
What is NAR Doing?
NAR is the process of determining whether and how AHPs can offer health insurance solutions to members and their families. NAR has conducted extensive research through surveys and nationwide focus groups. This research will continue throughout the process. Additionally, NAR has retained outside health insurance consultants, developed channels of communication with large insurance companies and is working closely with our state and local association partners in states with favorable regulatory environments. These efforts will continue, but the insurance companies have yet to show an appetite for offering a national AHP to NAR or any other trade association. There has been significant progress, but NAR still must take a number of concrete steps to find workable solutions.
A number of state and local REALTOR® associations already are pursuing health insurance solutions for members. As these state efforts proceed, NAR could offer support based on what NAR has and continues to learn. Successful state and local implementation could serve as an example for insurers and could set the stage for a national plan down the road.
Shortly after the DOL issued the AHP rule, more than a dozen states filed suit to overturn the rule. Many of the states also issued conflicting legal guidance. This combination has created uncertainty for insurance providers.
Where we are now
The uncertainty in the legal landscape has prevented, at this time, a national insurance provider from stepping forward to offer a nationwide AHP option to NAR or any national trade association. Until the legal uncertainty is dissipated by Federal courts, or by more states issue rules providing market stability, insurance companies will likely not develop acceptable plans.