Episode 51: District Court Invalidates DOL’s AHP Rules
In this episode, Chase Cannon and Suzanne Spradley break down last week’s D.C. district court ruling that invalidates the DOL’s 2018 rules on association health plans (AHPs, which are also considered multiple employer welfare arrangements, or MEWAs). Chase gives a high level outline of the original and 2018 DOL AHP rules, and how the two differ. Suzanne and Chase discuss the lawsuit filed by a coalition states—led by New York and Massachusetts—and the arguments presented: That the DOL went beyond its authority be expanding access to AHPs through a loosening of ERISA’s rules on commonality of interest, primary purpose and working owner participation. The two analyze the court’s reasoning in concluding that the 2018 rules are invalid as a regulatory overreach in conflict with ERISA’s statutory design. Chase and Suzanne prognosticate on next steps in the challenge and lawsuit, and what it all means for AHPs.