Association Health Plans Bill Introduced in U.S. House

“Your AHP legislation will once again allow AHPs to offer comprehensive coverage at lower costs than traditional individual market plans” – NAR President Charlie Oppler.

On July 20, 2021, H.R. 4547, the Association Health Plans Act of 2021, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and was referred to the Committee on Labor and Education. As it currently stands, the bill would amend the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to establish additional criteria for determining when employers may join in an association of employers for the purposes of obtaining a group health plan.

Continuing litigation (and subsequent action from the Department of Labor) ended similar plans that were implemented under federal regulations in 2018, but Congressional action could revive these beneficial insurance solutions. According to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan’s 7th district, H.R. 4547 would expand options for healthcare and virtually lower costs for small businesses through Association Health Plans (AHPs).

In the other congressional chamber, S. 896 has been introduced as the Senate’s version of the Association Health Plans Act of 2021. However, the latest action on this bill is its referral to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions dating back to March 23rd of this year. As it currently stands, the bill has five cosponsors— all of whom are of the Republican party.

Since the recent introduction of H.R. 4547, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has issued a letter of support to Congress urging members to push onward with the legislation and thanks the involved officials for taking the needed steps forward. An excerpt reads:

“Your AHP legislation will once again allow AHPs to offer comprehensive coverage at lower costs than traditional individual market plans and provide much needed flexibility to independent contractors around the country.”

For more information on AHPs and what this legislation could mean for the foreseeable future, please visit NAR’s website here.

For questions, reach out to DAAR’s Government Affairs Director.

July 27, 2021