August 03, 2018
The Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) filed emergency regulations and proposed final rules in response to the United States Department of Labor's (DOL) June 19 final rule on Association Health Plans (AHPs). The emergency rule is effective immediately. Both rules filed govern only fully-insured AHPs (i.e. AHPs that purchase coverage from an insurer and do not self-insure).
The DOL rule greatly expands the ability of small businesses and self-employed workers to band together by geography or industry to provide health care coverage to their members as if they were a single large employer. The department engaged in emergency rulemaking to ensure new Vermont regulations are in place in advance of September 1, 2018 when fully-insured AHPs can be offered in Vermont. The simultaneously filed proposed final rules will provide an opportunity for full public participation and comment, including a public hearing.
The emergency rules ensure the department meets the directive in Act 131 for the commissioner to adopt rules to "protect Vermont consumers and promote the stability of Vermont's health insurance markets, to the extent permitted under federal law."
Michael Pieciak, DFR commissioner, emphasized the rules' consumer-protection purpose: "Our team has put together a set of rules that, while allowing legitimate AHPs offering good coverage to operate, will ensure that Vermonters are protected from misleading practices and inadequate health coverage."
The emergency regulations and proposed final rules are published on the department's website (http://www.dfr.vermont.gov/proposed-rules-and-regulations#i-2018-01).
The department also plans to promulgate rules governing self-insured AHPs in the fall of this year; self-insured AHPs cannot offer coverage in Vermont until January 1, 2019.
Media Contact: Stephanie Brackin, 802-828-4872, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Department of Financial Regulation
Last Updated at: August 03, 2018 10:44:22