By David Rauf
New rule expands the definition of ‘employer’ to allow ‘working owners’ for purposes of health coverage.
This isn’t going to be a panacea, and it’s not a replacement for ACA. But it could be a very good alternative.
--Rich Fuchs, president and CEO, PRO Insurance Managers, Inc.
“If direct sellers did not have to worry about their access to health care coverage, and if the costs associated with it were more manageable, imagine what they could focus on instead.”
—Alexander Acosta, U.S. Secretary of Labor
A Trump administration rule centered on a type of group health coverage known as an association health plan (AHP) will extend access to lower-premium plans for independent contractors such as realtors, court reporters and the salesforce that makes up the U.S. direct selling channel, among others. The regulation expands the definition of “employer” to allow “working owners” to be covered by an association health plan, which are typically used by small businesses to band together for better buying power and coverage.
The regulation has its roots in an executive order signed by President Trump in October 2017 directing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to expand access for association health plans and make lower-premium plans more widely available.
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