WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today expressed disappointment about the recent decision from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia which found two core provisions of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Association Health Plan (AHP) Final Rule unlawful. Despite the decision, the Chamber is rolling out a portal to advance Association Health Plans offered by associations including state and local chambers.
“Chambers of Commerce across the country have launched or are in the process of launching new Association Health Plans permitted by the Department of Labor’s new regulations. We have already heard from several Chambers who are concerned that as a result of this court decision the robust, affordable insurance they are providing to over 20,000 individuals is at risk,” said Katie Mahoney, Chamber Vice President of Health Policy. “In addition to the individuals currently covered, dozens of other state and local Chambers are in the process of launching new AHPs; these Chambers estimate that over 300,000 individuals will enroll and obtain coverage through this opportunity in the coming year – that too is at risk because of this court decision.”
According to the Chamber, new AHPs provide comprehensive coverage and a myriad of consumer protections including a ban on excluding individuals based on pre-existing conditions. The Chamber will continue to work to support this policy in the courts and believes the District Court’s decision should be stayed pending the conclusion of litigation over the AHP Final Rule. A stay would remove uncertainty for thousands of Americans currently enrolled under AHPs.
To assist businesses and local/state chambers of commerce, the Chamber has created an AHP Database that provides a directory of available AHPs for businesses who are looking to join one in their area, as well as a centralized database for associations to list their AHP. In addition, if associations are interested in setting up an AHP of their own, the database includes resources and contact information for legal and benefit experts.