The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has just released a final regulation allowing more employers to band together to form Association Health Plans (AHPs). The goal of the rule is to allow small employers to use the pricing power and more flexible regulations that apply to a “large employer” plan to provide more affordable health care. This advisory focuses on the changes made by the new rule and its effect on the group market, especially in Washington State, where AHPs are already popular. Part 2 will discuss the ability of independent contractors to use AHPs as an alternative to the individual market.
On June 26, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the so-called Trump travel ban. Presidential Proclamation 9645, Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats, established an indefinite suspension on granting visas to persons from certain countries. The Court agreed that the President could exclude persons from certain countries on the basis of his decision that their entry would be detrimental to the United States. The Court’s decision also ratifies the elaborate system of exemptions and case-by-case waivers of inadmissibility that result from the ban.