Court ruling may delay health insurance rollout

Published on March 29, 2019


The AVMA’s plans to resume offering health insurance to our members may be delayed by a federal court ruling issued this week.

On Thursday, a D.C. District Court of Appeals judge ordered the U.S. Department of Labor to revisit some aspects of its rule allowing small businesses to band together for the purpose of sponsoring health care plans. The Labor Department will almost certainly appeal the ruling.

The Labor Department rule, issued last June, would allow small businesses to offer health care insurance to their employees through what is known as an association health plan. Association-provided insurance was a core benefit of AVMA membership for nearly 60 years, until changes in the law forced an end to the coverage in 2013. Under the new association health plan rule, AVMA has been working toward once again offering health coverage to members, starting with offerings that could be available in several states later this year.

Yesterday’s court decision means those plans may be delayed. This will depend on the treatment by an appellate court and the reaction of insurance carriers. Though the AVMA is disappointed with Thursday's court ruling, we’re confident that it won’t be the final word on the matter. AVMA remains committed to once again providing this crucial member benefit.

We will continue to advocate for the interests of veterinarians, including access to high-quality, affordable health insurance plans through our association.

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