Supreme Court’s ERISA ruling a victory for self-insured employers

March 03, 2016 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court’s March 1 ruling in a Vermont case relieves self-insured employers from the obligation to report claims data to state governments that have established databases reflecting healthcare use and costs for citizens.

The reach of the ruling extends beyond Vermont to all self-insured plans. “It absolutely has national implications,” Linda J. Cohen, an attorney with Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew, P.C. in Burlington, Vermont, said after the ruling was released.

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Supreme Court Sends ERISA Case Back to Lower Court for Second Look

May 17, 2011 0 COMMENTS

Yesterday, May 16, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a district court must take another look at a case that will determine whether approximately 25,000 employees are entitled to have their pension benefits recalculated under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Although the Supreme Court indicated that the employees may be eligible for such relief, it noted that the district court had relied on the wrong provision when it fashioned its remedies plan.

Under ERISA, employers must provide certain notices before reducing medical or retirement benefits. However, when CIGNA changed its pension plan from a traditional defined benefit plan to a cash balance plan, Janice Amara, along with other plan participants, brought a class action lawsuit alleging that CIGNA did not comply with ERISA’s notice and summary plan description (SPD) requirements. More specifically, the participants alleged that the SPD and other disclosures were inconsistent with the plan itself.

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Mental Health Parity Act Effective Date Delayed

February 18, 2009 16 COMMENTS

Update: Mental Health Parity Changes Take Effect January 1, 2010

Congress deferred the effective date of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 to January 2010 for plans that otherwise would have been covered in 2009.

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Public Health Service Act to prohibit employers’ health plans from imposing any caps or limitations on mental health treatment or substance use disorder benefits that aren’t applied to medical and surgical benefits.

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Stimulus Bill Brings COBRA, Other Issues for Employers

February 16, 2009 0 COMMENTS

Update Dec. 16: House Passes COBRA Subsidy Extension and Expansion

Even as President Barack Obama prepares for a trip to Denver Tuesday to sign the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, better known as the stimulus package, many are still trying to sort out the bill, which Congress passed last Friday in dizzyingly rapid fashion.

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