Skip to Main Content

» DOL Issues Additional Guidance on Scope of Enforcement Relief for AHPs

May 20, 2019

Healthcare Reform Updates

Q&As Provide More Clarity for Employers after Court Decision

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued questions and answers (PDF) on the scope of its enforcement relief for association health plans (AHPs), described in an earlier policy statement. The guidance comes in the wake of a federal court decision striking down part of a 2018 DOL rule that had expanded access to the plans.

Key points in the new Q&As include:

  • AHPs formed under pre-rule guidance from the DOL are not affected by the court decision.
  • Enforcement relief does not extend to actions taken after the court’s ruling by AHPs formed under the DOL rule, including marketing to, and signing up, new employer members after the court’s decision. Existing employer members may, however, continue to enroll new employees upon special enrollment events and consistent with the plan’s eligibility requirements (e.g., enrolling new hires).
  • Enforcement relief extends through the remainder of the contract term that was in force at the time of the court decision, even if the term is longer than one year.

For additional information, please see the DOL Q&As (PDF) or contact the Employee Benefits Security Administration at 1-866-444-3272.

Posted by in Healthcare Reform Updates