NAR Association Health Plan (AHP) Policy
NAR supports legislative and regulatory changes allowing bona fide trade associations to offer AHPs to all of their members, including the self-employed individuals.
What is an AHP?
An AHP is a type of group medical coverage that allows small employers and self-employed individuals to band together in order to access large employer health insurance savings. These "large group" plans tend to offer better coverage options at lower cost than the ACA "individual" and "small group" insurance markets where many NAR members must purchase their coverage.
On June 21, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule opening the door for small employers and self-employed individuals, including real estate professionals, to participate in AHPs. However, that rule was invalidated by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in 2019, preventing self-employed individuals from further participation. The DOL appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and oral arguments were held in November 2019, where a decision is still pending.
What is NAR Doing?
NAR continues to vigorously advocate in the Courts, Congress and the Administration to reinstate the DOL rule. On June 7, 2019, NAR filed an amicus brief (friend of the court brief) in support of AHPs in the aforementioned litigation. In addition, NAR joined a brief by the Coalition to Protect and Promote AHPs and collaborated with over 200 state and local REALTOR® associations to defend the rule in the case that is still pending before the D.C. Circuit.
NAR has also continued to meet with the DOL to reinforce the benefits of AHPs for self-employed individuals. NAR urged the Secretary to collaborate with the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that federal law would not preempt states making statutory changes to allow for AHPs.
In Congress, NAR has worked with a number of members of Congress to introduce legislation codifying the DOL rule. Most recently, NAR provided testimony before the Congressional Healthy Future Task Force on how AHPs can make health insurance more affordable for real estate professionals. We have also been highlighting NAR’s 2022 member survey which underscores the need for reform. Providing access to affordable health coverage remains a top NAR talking point with members of Congress and candidates during election cycles.
NAR helped found a broad multi-industry to promote and support the DOL final rule – the Coalition to Protect and Promote AHPs. The purpose of the Coalition is to unite industry efforts and work with federal and state regulators to address state concerns while preserving the flexibility for access to AHPs. As part of the coalition and on an individual basis, NAR will continue to advocate for expanding our membership’s access to comprehensive and quality health insurance options at the federal, regional, state, and local levels.
A number of state and local REALTOR® associations have also been pursuing health insurance solutions for members through AHP-like plans and other options, under state law. NAR remains supportive of these state/local association efforts and continues to offer resources for Associations to use as they investigate and seek to implement more affordable health coverage in their area. Successful state and local implementation could serve as an example for insurers and could set the stage for a national plan down the road.