Parts of AHP Final Rule Are Struck Down by Federal Court
On March 28, 2019, a federal judge ruled that parts of the Trump administration’s 2018 final rule on association health plans (AHPs) were invalid. The court directed the Department of Labor (DOL) to reconsider how the remaining provisions of the final rule are affected.
In its ruling, the court stated that the final rule was an “end-run” around the ACA and that the DOL exceeded its authority under ERISA.
The court specifically struck down two parts of the rule:
- The provision defining “employer” to include associations of disparate employers
- The provision expanding membership in these associations to include working owners without employees
Employers and business owners without employees that have joined an AHP, or are considering doing so, should review how their plans may be affected by the court’s ruling. According to the DOL, participants in AHPs affected by the court’s decision have a right to benefits as provided by the plan or policy, although these plans may change their rules going forward.
Additional articles from the May 2019 edition of the Univest Employee Benefits Newsletter:
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