Gretchen Harders Quoted in “DOL Floats Lower Bar for Forming ‘Association Health Plans'”

Law360

Gretchen Harders, a Member of the Firm in the Employee Benefits practice, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in Law360, in “DOL Floats Lower Bar for Forming ‘Association Health Plans,’” by Braden Campbell. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday issued a proposed rule that would let more employers avoid stricter rules for small group and individual insurance plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by joining together to form so-called association health plans. …

The new rule would let more businesses pool their resources into a single health plan, which would be covered by looser restrictions that apply to plans with more than 50 workers. Under the proposal, employers “in the same trade, industry, line of business or profession” and those with a “principal place of business” in the same state or metropolitan area could form AHPs, even if they include businesses in different states.

“I don’t know how widespread this will actually be, but it certainly gives another option for small employers and proprietors,” said Epstein Becker Green employee benefits attorney Gretchen Harders. “In some of the larger markets like the New York metro area, there may be some associations who had thought about setting up group health plans for members but haven’t done so because of the various legal issues.”