The rule finalized by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on June 19, preserves the opportunity for small businesses and working owners to participate in association health plans.
Through adoption of the final rule, small businesses and large businesses of like trade or business or within the same state or metropolitan area may band together and be considered as a single employer. Annette Bechtold, OneDigital SVP of Regulatory Affairs and Reform Initiatives, responds to the ruling and provides commentary to the impact it may have on small employers in the article "DOL’s Final Rule on Association Health Plans Expands Options” by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Whether AHPs will be an attractive and affordable option for associations and small businesses will hinge on the various states and state laws regarding group size, rating rules and other factors. We expect the states to respond by modifying their existing laws and rules, and at that point, the advantages and disadvantages will become clearer. Implementation is always the hard part.
— Annette Bechtold, SVP of Regulatory Affairs and Reform Initiatives