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Rare ERISA Trial Shows Judicial Scrutiny Vital In Claim Review

A federal judge from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued in June a stinging indictment of the disability benefit plan that covers both active and former football players who become permanently and totally disabled due to injuries sustained during their professional football playing careers. […]

How Do I Know if My Benefit Plan Is Self-Funded?

When the term “self-funded” is used in relation to employer-sponsored benefit plans, the term usually refers to what are known as “welfare” benefits. ERISA does not use the term “welfare” to mean public assistance. Instead, the term relates to benefits provided for the employee’s welfare; and is defined by the statute to mean […]

What Is ERISA?

ERISA, an acronym for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974,1 is one of the most important federal laws ever passed by Congress, but hardly anyone knows what it is or what it does. […]

ERISA Ruling Shows Lax Enrollment Practices Can Be Costly

A life insurance decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit may be summed up by quoting a single sentence from the opinion: “Misleading an [Employee Retirement Income Security Act]-plan participant has consequences.” Skelton v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co.[1] teaches how lax benefit enrollment practices can be costly. […]

What Is the Significance of “Restrictions & Limitations” in a Disability Benefit Claim?

Disability insurance companies base their claim decisions on the claimant’s medical restrictions and limitations. “Restrictions” are what some cannot do as determined by their doctor, while “limitations’ are what someone is limited in doing. In the absence of restrictions or limitations, there is no “disability” as defined by the policy […]

How Can I Tell If My Benefit Plan Is Governed by ERISA?

ERISA is an acronym for the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. Most people have never heard of ERISA, but its comprehensiveness impacts the vast majority of American workers and their dependents. The original intent behind ERISA’s enactment was to remedy pension plan abuses; however, just prior to Congress’ passage of the ERISA law, the scope […]