As a result of President Trump’s Executive Order 13813 entitled “Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States”, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed regulations earlier this year that would make it easier for employers and self-employed individuals to purchase health insurance collectively through Association Health Plans (AHPs).
After review of significant commentary, the DOL issued the final rule this week, which adopted the proposed rule with fairly little change. The final rule allows employers and individuals to join together in AHPs for the provision of health care. This approach avoids small group health insurance market rules, takes advantage of the generally less regulated large group health insurance market, and accesses economies of scale in a way previously unavailable to small employers and individuals. While the guidance is aimed at small employers and individuals, it does not preclude larger employers from participating in AHPs.