By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has released the 2018 Form M-1 and related instructions. Administrators of Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) that provide medical benefits, including Association Health Plans (AHPs), must file the Form M-1 with the Department annually and following certain events, such as a MEWA’s expansion into a new state.
The Form M-1 contains valuable information that EBSA uses in its regulatory, compliance, and enforcement programs. Since April 11, 2000, MEWAs that provide medical coverage, including AHPs, have been required to file a Form M-1 with the Department.
On June 21, 2018, the Department published a rule that allows more groups and associations to form AHPs and also allows working owners without other employees (including sole proprietors) to join AHPs and receive health coverage for themselves and their families. AHPs established pursuant to this new rule constitute MEWAs and, as such, are required to file the Form M-1.
Together with the 2018 Form M-1, EBSA is also publishing “10 Tips for Filing Form M-1 for Association Health Plans and Other MEWAs that Provide Medical Benefits” that will assist MEWA administrators in appropriately filing the Form M-1. This publication provides general information on the entities that are required to file the Form M-1, when they are required to file and some of the information that should be included in an M-1 filing.
All MEWAs that provide medical benefits, including AHPs that intend to begin operating under the new rule, are required to file an initial registration Form M-1 at least 30 days before engaging in any activity. Such activities include, but are not limited to, marketing, soliciting, providing, or offering to provide medical care benefits to employers or employees who may participate in the AHP.
Tips. The EBSA’s 10 tips for filing Form M-1 for AHPs and other MEWAs that provide medical benefits are as follows:
- A MEWA must file before starting to operate.
- Use the correct form.
- Only MEWAs offering benefits for medical care must file.
- An entity may have more than one Form M-1 filing in a given year.
- Indicate the correct M-1 filing type.
- Complete all required information.
- Include information for every state in which the MEWA operates.
- Provide accurate insurance information.
- Retain the confirmation number.
- A Form 5500 may also be required.
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