Association Health Plans: DOL Final Regulations, Issues and Best Practices for ERISA Counsel

MEWA Regulations and Other State Law Challenges, Small vs. Large Group ACA Requirements and Exemptions

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

The CLE will guide ERISA and benefits counsel on the rules and challenges associated with developing and implementing an association health plan (AHP) for small and large groups. The panel will discuss final DOL regulations, ACA requirements, state regulatory challenges, and best practices for ERISA compliance.


On June 19, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) released final rules regarding Association Health Plans (AHP), offering new options for associations to sponsor health plans for their members. Small businesses can now more easily band together and obtain coverage within a large group insurance market with fewer coverage requirements.

Historically, multiple employers have been treated as a single “employer” under ERISA if they are members of a bona fide group or association of employers so long as there is a “commonality of interest” among them. The final DOL rules revise what constitutes a “commonality of interest” and a variety of other items requiring awareness of a myriad of both federal and state law requirements.

AHPs are subject to state laws and regulation governing multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs) and other federal mandates such as coverage of mental health benefits, no lifetime or annual limits on specific benefits, and nondiscrimination provisions. ERISA and benefits counsel should understand how these complicated regulatory layers apply to these new Association Health Plans.

Listen as our panel guide the final DOL regulations for AHPs, ACA mandates and exemptions, state regulatory challenges and best practices for AHPs to ensure compliance with federal and state law.



  1. Overview of final DOL rules regarding AHPs
  2. Meeting federal requirements
    1. Commonality of interest
    2. Substantial business purpose
    3. ACA mandates and exemptions
  3. MEWA regulations and other state challenges
  4. Best practices for AHPs to ensure compliance with federal and state law


The panel will review these and other high priority issues:

  • Identifying areas of concern based on the requirements of the DOL final regulations for AHPs
  • Determining “commonality of interest” and “substantial business purposes” in qualifying as a group or association
  • Understanding ACA requirements and exemptions applicable to small employers and association health plans
  • Recognizing state law challenges and MEWA regulations impacting AHPs
  • Determining the applicability of new provisions to current plans and best practices to ensure compliance


Temme, Ryan
Ryan C. Temme

Groom Law Group

Mr. Temme practices in the firm's Health and Welfare Practice Group, where he works on a variety of health law...  |  Read More

Welsch, Christopher
Christopher W. Welsch

Winston & Strawn

Mr. Welsch advises employers on a wide range of benefits plans, including qualified plans, non-qualified plans, equity...  |  Read More

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