By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff
The National Association of Realtors® has filed an amicus brief in defense of the Department of Labor's (DOL) association health plan (AHP) rule.
In March, a federal district court invalidated two key provisions of the rule that broadened the meaning of "employer associations" to include small businesses (with or without employees) and self-employed individuals so as to avoid the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s health care market requirements. The Department of Justice is appealing the ruling and NAR's amicus brief submission supports the DOJ's appeal.
"Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act resulted in significant regulatory changes to the individual insurance market, some of which have benefited Realtors®," the brief states. "However, ACA changes have also resulted in significant increases in health care costs, leaving many individuals to forgo coverage, which jeopardizes the health, safety and financial stability of their families and others."
NAR's amicus brief discusses DOL's lawful authority to expand access to AHPs by interpreting the working owner provisions to promote flexibility while not conflicting with existing statutes. NAR also describes the comprehensiveness of AHP coverage and the many successful plans already in place that are resulting in significant savings and benefits to many working owners.
"NAR is committed to ensuring our members can secure the health insurance coverage they need to provide for themselves and their families," said NAR President John Smaby, a second generation Realtor® from Edina, Minnesota. "However, affordability concerns continue to serve as a barrier to securing sufficient affordable, quality insurance options for America's 1.3 million Realtors®.
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