MEWAs and Association Health Plans: Issues in Risk Pooling Unrelated Employers
Created on May 21, 2019
As health care costs continue their upward trajectory, employers are desperate to find new ways to bend the cost curve. Increasingly, small employers are exploring avenues historically only available to larger employer groups - expanding the risk pool. This path is not without risk, as for years federal and state regulators have sought to limit unrelated employers from offering combined health insurance due to the risk of fraud and insolvency. However, recent guidance out of the current administration has opened the door a crack to a new potential avenue - Association Health Plans. The regulations concerning these so-called AHPs in many ways mirror earlier guidance on multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs), but with some increased flexibility. Even so, employers considering this approach need to fully understand the risks.
This program, taught by Danita Merlau and Ben Conley from Seyfarth Shaw's employee benefits and executive compensation practice group, will help employers identify the legal parameters and risks surrounding MEWAs and AHPs.
- Explore the history of MEWAs and the current regulatory landscape
- Provide updates the new AHP guidelines and how the extent of their impact on existing MEWA rules
- Assess insurance risk implications surrounding these types of plans, including current litigation
- Discuss pointers on plan design, including administration and identification of plan assets
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