Joint coalition files amicus brief in support of association health plans

By Kim Shindle | Jan. 9, 2019 | 3 min. read

Affordable health insurance options for Realtors® continues to be a priority for the National Association of Realtors®. As a member of the Coalition to Protect and Promote Association Health Plans, NAR joined and filed an amicus brief in December in support of the U.S. Department of Labor’s regulation last year, which would expand access to association health.

In this case, 12 attorneys general, including Pennsylvania’s, filed suit against DOL challenging the association health plan rule issued in June. The lawsuit challenges DOL’s regulation, noting it could destabilize state insurance markets and risk increased fraud and abuse by insurers.

Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for late January, which NAR continues to closely monitor and will provide updates.

“NAR remains committed to finding affordable, comprehensive health insurance solutions for Realtors® and their families. As a founding member of the Coalition to Promote and Protect Association Health Plans, the filing in support of the Department of Labor’s rulemaking will help protect self-employed individuals’ ability to join association health plans, which remain subject to state and federal oversight. While NAR continues to explore and tackle barriers to a national AHP insurance option, we are learning from the many successes being implemented by state and local Realtor® associations and maintain our focus on ensuring health care needs for our members and their families are protected,” said NAR President John Smaby.

PAR President Bill McFalls and Past President Todd Umbenhauer and NAR Senior Policy Representative Austin Perez met last year with the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance to discuss the hardships Realtors® are facing when searching for health insurance.

“Association health plans were a key discussion point during PAR’s Strategic Planning sessions, so PAR will take a closer look at ways to address the health insurance needs of our members. We’ll also support NAR’s efforts to work toward ensuring our members can have access to affordable health care,” McFalls added.

The coalition is comprised of 23 organizations that believe employees of small employers and independent contractors deserve quality coverage with strong consumer protections. Member organizations include: the American Bankers Association, American Composites Manufacturers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Society of Association Executives, American Veterinary Medical Association, Associated Employers Benefit & Trust, Association of Web-Based Health Insurance Brokers, Financial Services Institute, Food Marketing Institute, Foundation for Government Accountability, Global Cold Chain Alliance, Indiana Credit Union League, International Franchise Association, International Sign Association, Land O’Lakes, Inc., Manufacturer & Business Association, Michigan Dental Association, National Apartment Association, National Association of Realtors®, NFIB, National Restaurant Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Transportation Intermediaries Association.

For more information on NAR’s advocacy efforts, please visit the health care reform topic page on

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