Editor's Note: This is not the most recent post on this subject. See the latest information on AVMA's effort to resume offering health insurance to our members here.
AVMA LIFE is working to resume offering health insurance to AVMA members, but it will take some time to begin rolling out coverage plans due to a complicated web of federal and state regulations.
A new federal rule has opened the door for the creation of some association health plans. Now, coverage plans will need to be defined and rolled out on a state-by-state basis due to differences in regulations at the state level. AVMA LIFE trustees have selected HUB International to be the insurance broker to begin defining coverage needs and designing plans with insurance carriers. LIFE is working to expedite the process, although it’s not yet clear when the new plans might be available to AVMA members.
Meanwhile, AVMA is working hard on the advocacy front, where we’ve joined with other associations to simplify the regulatory landscape and protect the gains made to date. The AVMA has taken a leading role in a group of national associations to help launch the Coalition to Protect and Promote AHPs.
Among the coalition’s first efforts, we’ve working with the Pennsylvania insurance commissioner to clarify how Pennsylvania will determine whether insurance rules for small or large groups will apply to association health plans. The coalition is committed to working with all state and federal officials to implement the framework for association health plans to ensure that the marketplace is viable and successful.
The AVMA family provided quality health coverage to AVMA members for nearly 60 years before regulatory changes forced an end to those plans in 2013. Since the U.S. Department of Labor announced its new rule allowing association health plans in June, we’ve been working with insurance experts to understand the technicalities of the rule and evaluate all options for resuming coverage for our members. We expect that veterinarians who are employers – including those who are self-employed – will be eligible to purchase group health insurance for themselves, their families and their employees through the AVMA family. It is likely that plans will vary state by state.