Association Health Plans


This practice note discusses the requirements for association health plans (AHPs) under the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act (ERISA) and describes how the June 2018 final rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) (the final rule) may shape how you advise clients wishing to either establish a new AHP or reevaluate the operations of an existing AHP. In particular, this practice note focuses on two threshold questions that must be addressed by any association seeking to establish an AHP in light of the DOL final rule: (1) whether the association qualifies as a bona fide association under ERISA and therefore meets the definition of "employer," capable of sponsoring an ERISA health plan and (2) if the association only qualifies as an employer under the final rule rather than the historical rule, whether it can adopt a viable AHP.