Association Health Plans in Nevada
These plans became a big part of the Nevada health insurance industry in 2019. Association plans were lower costing small business health policies that allowed industry related businesses to join together. When these groups of businesses pooled together, they could operate under one large group and get lower rates from the insurance company. Although association health plans in Nevada have been around for a long time, in 2018 and 2019, a new rule in Washington expanded them. Since late 2019, another new ruling significantly reduced which plans insurance companies could sell.
The U.S. Department of Labor ruled that some of the association health plans are not a legal health plan. Insurance companies could not continue to sell them. To be considered a legal health plan, an association policy had to be considered a “Pathway 1” plan. Pathway 1 means that the association plan falls in line with what the old definition of these plans was. These policies were only to be offered to very similar related businesses, not to any business group. For example, businesses that are directly related to the construction industry are Pathway 1. Many of the new association plans that were related to specifically defined industries like construction, dental offices, medical offices, etc. could stay.
If an association plan was not defined as a Pathway 1 plan, then it is instead Pathway 2. An example of a Pathway 2 group was the Better Business Bureau association plan. Any business, related industry or not, could join and gain access to the discounted health plan. The DOL ruled that any Pathway 2 plans were not eligible to continue.
What to Do Now
If your business joined a Pathway 2 Association, your plan should not have been immediately canceled. Instead, you may have an expiration date on your policy and you will have to find other insurance when it ends. Since group health insurance plans can be started at any time, you will just need to find new coverage prior to your current plan ending. If you think your business qualifies for current discounted association plan rates, or you need help finding a new group plan, speaking with a health insurance broker is a great place to start. You can discuss your options with one of our licensed brokers. In addition, we do not charge fees or any other added cost to your plan.