Association Health Plans

An alert reader of the Regulatory Stew observed that the federal litigation concerning the Associated Employers Trust doesn’t mesh with some of the insurance regulatory filings made with the Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC).

Here’s how a 2010 dental plan filed with the OIC described the role of Associated Employers Trust:

Employer Identification Number (Ein):

Plan Number:
The trust fund through which this plan is provided is known as the Associated Employers Health & Welfare Trust.

Type of Plan
This plan can be described as a welfare plan which provides death benefits, disability income, health insurance benefits, and/or dental benefits for eligible employees and their dependents. Refer to this benefit booklet for information on the benefits available to you.

Administration of Plan The Board of Trustees is the Plan Administrator. They administer the plan with the assistance of Associated Industries Management Services. Their address and telephone
number are:
Board of Trustees Associated Employers Health & Welfare Trust
c/o Associated Industries Management Services
1206 N. Lincoln St., Suite 200
Spokane, WA 99201-2559
Phone (509) 326-6892

The Trustees have the authorization and discretion to interpret the terms of the plan and requirements for participation in it. Information as to whether a particular employer is a sponsor of the plan and the employer’s address may be obtained from the plan Administrator. [Emphasis added, Plan Filing at 107]

Interesting – seems that at least some of the AET plans named the Trustees as plan administrators with authority to interpret the plan subject to ERISA.