Court Strikes Down Association Health Plan Rules
On March 28th, 2019, a Federal District Court in the District of Columbia struck down significant portions of the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Association Health Plan (AHP) Final Rule. Specifically, the Court found the DOL “failed to reasonably interpret” ERISA when issuing these rules by:
• expanding the definition of “employers” to include disparate groups of employers with no other commonality of interest other than geographic location; and
• bringing working owners without employees within ERISA’s framework.
This ruling effectively eliminates the expansion of AHPs to certain employers and working owners who do not meet the original parameters to be a part of an AHP. It is now up to the DOL to determine whether, considering this ruling, the Final Rule can continue to stand.
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