The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) finalized and published in the Federal Register a final rule titled Definition of “Employer” under Section 3(5) of ERISA–Association Health Plans.
This rule is overseen by the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration and modifies the definition of “employer” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). It expands access to health coverage options for small businesses and their employees through Association Health Plans. Association plans allow small businesses, including self-employed workers, to band together by geography or industry to obtain healthcare coverage as if they were a single employer.
This final regulation is effective on August 20, 2018. It is unclear when plans may become widely available or how those plans will be structured.
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