District Court Strikes Down Administration’s Association Health Plan Regulations

Document Excerpt

Eleven states and the District of Columbia have sued the Department of Labor (“DOL”),
alleging that its final rule interpreting the definition of “employer” in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), 88 Stat. 829, 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq., is unlawful under the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), 5 U.S.C. § 706. DOL’s interpretation of the term “employer,” found at Definition of “Employer” Under Section 3(5) of ERISA—Association
Health Plans, 83 Fed. Reg. 28,912 (June 21, 2018) (hereinafter “Final Rule”) (codified at 29 C.F.R. pt. 2510), A.R. at 1–53, 2 impacts the treatment of certain healthcare plans under both ERISA and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), Pub. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010). The States charge that DOL’s Final Rule stretches the definition of “employer” beyond what ERISA’s text and purpose will bear. For the reasons that follow, the Court agrees.


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