After so many years of advocacy, we were so excited when the ‘Association Health Plan‘ was created by the Department of Labor, knowing it would have a tremendous impact to our Realtor members. Then earlier this year, we realized we had to restart our crusade when a federal court held that the ‘Association Health Plan‘ rule was unlawful. The Department of Justice stepped in and appealed that ruling, and NAR and associations across the US offered support for this appeal and continues seek ways to increase and improve health care options for America’s independent contractors.
“We’re encouraged to see so many associations from across the country demonstrate their public support of association health plans,” said NAR President John Smaby. “The DOL’s rule opens the door for Realtors® to access affordable, high-quality health care options that can be so difficult for independent contractors to find. Moving forward, we’re hopeful that our work alongside these local partners will help secure the health care solutions that our members and their families deserve.”
Over 1.15 million Realtors® are represented by the associations offering their support of AHPs. While some regulatory changes stemming from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have benefited Realtors®, others have led to increased health care costs, leaving many individuals to drop insurance coverage and jeopardize the health, safety and financial stability of their families. Representing one of the best possible solutions to this hurdle, AHPs have proven to generate more affordable and better overall coverage.
To date, over 3,000 Realtors® and their families have found cost-effective health insurance solutions through the AHPs currently operated by a handful of local Realtor® associations across the country. Countless additional associations are also exploring AHP options but have been delayed due to uncertainty surrounding federal litigation.
“Thanks to this overwhelming outspoken support of association health plans, the court and opposing states are beginning to recognize how truly valuable the Department of Labor’s rule is to America’s Realtors® and to independent contractors across the nation,” Smaby continued. “We thank these Realtor® associations for their support and will continue to do whatever possible to ensure affordable, high-quality options are available to our members and their families.”
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.