A rule to expand the definition of “employer” to include “working owners” is a giant step for real estate professionals—but the fight isn’t over.
The U.S Department of Labor (DOL) has finalized its long-awaited Association Health Plan (AHP) rule, clearing the way for real estate professionals and other self-employed individuals to participate in association health plans.
A key provision, advocated for inclusion in the rule by NAR, will allow the roughly 31% of REALTORS® who are offered coverage through a spouse to be eligible to choose an AHP option.
What is next?
Legal and other challenges could delay implementation of the rule. NAR has been advocating for an AHP solution for decades, and this final rule makes AHPs one step closer to achieving that goal. The result of NAR’s advocacy efforts, the strategic recommendations of the Member Benefits team, and consultations with health insurance experts have positioned NAR to analyze a potential AHP option in a comprehensive process to help secure quality health insurance at an affordable price for members and their families.
NAR cautions that the development of an AHP will be a long process and may not meet the health insurance coverage needs of all members.
The ruling is a major step forward for NAR’s long-standing advocacy efforts to expand AHP eligibility to independent contractors. This ruling allows NAR to keep up its ongoing program to evaluate potential options for expanding REALTORS® options for access to health insurance coverage. It does not mean that a REALTOR® AHP will be available in the near term, but action continues to explore such options.