NWLC signed on to an amicus brief led by Public Citizen on July 22, 2019 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that opposes the Department of Labor’s “association health plan” rule. The brief explains why the rule is both unlawful and will be detrimental to women, the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and others who rely on the ACA’s market reforms for access to comprehensive and affordable health care. Specifically, the rule impermissibly interprets the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and Title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act to expand the availability of so-called association health plans. These are health plans which are not required to comply with several of the ACA’s individual and small group market reforms that combat discrimination in health insurance, including the ACA’s prohibition against gender rating (charging women more for health insurance than men) and the requirement that plans cover essential health benefits, including maternity care. By creating an end-run around the ACA’s individual and small group market reforms, the rule will particularly harm women and others Congress intended to protect under the ACA.

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