Compliance Assistance for Association Health Plans Now Available at Employer.gov
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor has added compliance assistance materials on Association Health Plans (AHPs) to its new Employer.gov website that will help job creators and plan sponsors understand their Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) obligations when setting up and managing AHPs.
A recent final rule published by the Department's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) makes it easier for employers, especially small businesses, to pool resources to create AHP health insurance plans for their employees, and will help increase access to health coverage for workers and business-owners, including sole-proprietors, who previously faced challenges in securing employer-sponsored health coverage.
Employer.gov is a new compliance assistance website that covers various topics and labor laws enforced by federal agencies. This resource, which continues the goal of the Department's recently announced Office of Compliance Initiatives (OCI), encourages and facilitates compliance evaluations.
"This addition to Employer.gov includes links to an array of compliance assistance resources covering the various aspects of establishing and managing an AHP, and will help employers get the information they need to understand the rules of the road when setting up and managing new AHPs," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits Security Preston Rutledge. "Expanding access to AHPs creates a path to affordable health coverage for millions of American workers and their families."
"This resource will promote greater compliance with and understanding of rules and requirements when organizing and managing new Association Health Plans," said Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy Jonathan Berry.
In August 2018, OCI launched Worker.gov and Employer.gov to provide better access to information about workers' rights and the responsibilities of job creators toward their workers. OCI's mission is to foster a compliance assistance culture within the Department and help the Department's enforcement agencies more effectively use online resources to deliver information and compliance assistance to help the American people. OCI is housed within the Department's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy.
EBSA is responsible for administering and enforcing the fiduciary, reporting and disclosure provisions of Title I of ERISA. Employers, employees, benefit plan sponsors and others in need of assistance can contact the agency at 1-866-444-EBSA or https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa/about-ebsa/ask-a-question/ask-ebsa.