HUB International Limited has announced what it says is one of the nation’s first association health plans (AHPs) under the Department of Labor’s (DOL)’s new AHP rules.
“Working closely with Tennessee REALTORS, we successfully tailored one of the first affordable and robust AHPs for a professional association under the new regulations and look forward to working with other associations to build additional AHPs throughout the U.S. in the future,” says Mike Barone, president of employee benefits at HUB International.
HUB and Tennessee REALTORS created a fully insured AHP, which includes three different medical plan options plus a dental and vision option, and wellness solutions. Additional benefits will be offered to members through other insurance benefit partners, including accident with a disability insurance rider, critical illness and life insurance with a long term care rider. And, the expectation is to have the AHP continue to grow and evolve over time.
Last June, the DOL finalized regulations to expand the opportunity to offer employment-based health insurance to small businesses through AHPs. Under the DOL’s new rule, AHPs can serve employers in a city, county, state, or a multi-state metropolitan area, or a particular industry nationwide. Sole proprietors as well as their families will be permitted to join such plans. In addition to providing more choice, the new rule makes insurance more affordable for small businesses. Just like plans for large employers, these plans will be customizable to tailor benefit design to small businesses’ needs. These plans will also be able to reduce administrative costs and strengthen negotiating power with providers from larger risk pools and greater economies of scale.In 2018, HUB and Tennessee REALTORS conducted a survey of members, composed mostly of 1099 contractors, W2 employees, and sole proprietorship/partners and owners, gauging their interest in an AHP. The survey results revealed 94% had strong interest in accessing benefits through the establishment of an AHP. In addition, 50% of the respondents identified as “individuals” who felt they were paying too much for health care coverage.