New federal rule may expand health insurance options for veterinarians

Published on June 20, 2018


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.

The U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule yesterday allowing for the resumption of some association health plans, following up on an executive order signed last fall by President Donald Trump. The AVMA and AVMA LIFE Trust are evaluating the details of this complex rule, and we’re cautiously optimistic that it will allow AVMA LIFE to resume offering health insurance to some AVMA members.

For more than 60 years, the AVMA family has provided veterinarian-inspired insurance products that protect AVMA members and their loved ones. AVMA LIFE included health care coverage among its offerings until 2014, when regulatory changes required an end to these plans. Since then, the AVMA and AVMA LIFE have been working with Congress and the Department of Labor to allow for the return of association health plans.

Under the rule released today, the AVMA LIFE Trust, or a related entity, may be able to offer health insurance as an "association of employers." This means veterinarians who are employers – including those who are self-employed – might be eligible to purchase group health insurance for themselves, their families and their employees through the AVMA family.

We are working hard to understand the rule, including if and how we can once again offer health insurance to AVMA members. To the fullest extent possible, we will shape any future health insurance products to meet our members’ needs. While this rule may not be perfect, AVMA LIFE welcomes the opportunity to resume offering health insurance to AVMA members in some form. We believe in health insurance coverage inspired by the unique needs of veterinarians.

We’ll continue updating you on this news and our plan as this opportunity develops.