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NC REALTORS® Talk Health Insurance

For as long as any of us can remember, the cost of health insurance has been a significant part of the annual expenses for many who are self-employed or independent contractors. With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, many saw insurance costs decrease thanks to subsidies and grandfathered plans. But that wasn’t the case for everyone and even those with subsidized plans didn’t keep them forever. Premiums and deductibles continued to rise, forcing even the healthiest persons to pay high costs for their insurance or choose to drop it all together due to other expenses.

NC REALTORS® believes that our members, along with all those who aren’t covered under employer-sponsored health insurance shouldn’t have the make the choice between health insurance and other expenses. We know that thousands of members across our state choose to go without coverage because of these high costs, placing them one accident or illness away from financial peril.



On June 21, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a new rule opening the door for small employers and self-employed individuals, including real estate professionals, to participate in Association Health Plans (AHPs). AHPs are “large group” plans that tend to offer better coverage options at lower cost than the “individual” and “small group” insurance markets.

But here is the problem: North Carolina law prevents these types of plans in the state. Coverage definitions pertain only to employees, limiting the ability for “non-employees” or independent contractors from participating in group plans.


House Bill 933 would allow association members the option to join health benefit plans, non-insurance products which provide specific types of coverage. They are a great first step for uninsured persons to have some form of coverage in case of emergency or to use for preventative care. The bill also lowers the employee threshold for employer sponsored plans from 26 to 16, opening up opportunities for more employers who want to provide coverage to their employees.

The bill received bipartisan support in the Senate, but was not approved by the House of Representatives before they adjourned their session.

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