In response to the recent litigation surrounding association health plans (“AHPs”), the Department of Labor (“DOL”) released its second guidance on May 13, 2019, regarding the United States District Court for the District of Columbia’s decision vacating key portions of the DOL’s AHP Final Rule (“AHP Final Rule” or “Final Rule”) published on June 21, 2018. Our previous blog recaps the AHP Final Rule, recent litigation, and the DOL’s previous guidance.
In its second guidance, the DOL answers questions regarding the effect of the district court’s decision on AHPs:
- AHPs formed in good faith reliance on the Final Rule’s validity prior to the court’s decision are relieved from enforcement of violations, which is addressed in the DOL’s previous guidance; however, this relief does not extend to actions taken after the court’s decision (i.e., marketing to, and signing up, new employer members to the AHP).
- The DOL’s enforcement relief extends through the plan year or the contract term that was in force prior to the court’s decision.
- AHPs formed pursuant to the DOL’s sub-regulatory guidance (prior to the AHP Final Rule) are unaffected by the court’s decision and may seek additional information on the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration’s website.
The information and content contained in this blog post are for general informational purposes only, and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.