Washington Report

Advocacy Updates from Washington D.C.

NAR Testifies on Association Health Plans

On Tuesday, March 20th, the National Association of REALTORS® testified before the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions in support of current regulatory efforts to expand association health plans (AHPs).  At the hearing, which focused on U.S. Department of Labor’s recently proposed AHP rule, Mike McGrew, a REALTOR® for more than 30 years in Lawrence, Kansas, and former NAR treasurer, expressed NAR’s strong support for the rule’s provisions to allow self-employed individuals with no employees to participate in association health plans.

The need for more affordable health insurance options is a top concern among real estate professionals too; more than half of NAR’s members pay for their health insurance out of pocket and one in five doesn’t have any health insurance at all, according to an annual member survey. “The challenges facing the nation’s small business and independent contractor community when searching for affordable health insurance continue to grow each year, as costs rise and options diminish,” said Mike McGrew. “Reducing the cost of health insurance while maintaining quality coverage is a priority for NAR, a priority that is shared by the growing number of small businesses and self-employed Americans who are part of every sector of our economy.”

In his testimony, McGrew outlined how the rule opens the door to potentially allowing associations, including NAR, to offer health insurance coverage to its members through the large group insurance market, which usually offers more coverage options at lower costs than the individual insurance market. NAR believes that allowing the self-employed to access health coverage through an AHP could improve members’ ability to find comprehensive health coverage at a more affordable price.

Read NAR’s comment letter on the proposed rule.

Read NAR's testimony.

Additional information on NAR’s health insurance advocacy efforts is at www.nar.realtor/health-care-reform.