Why Discretionary Clauses Must Be Prohibited

The ERISA 1 law was enacted in 1974 by Congress to protect . . . participants in employee benefit plans and their beneficiaries, by requiring the disclosure and reporting to participants and beneficiaries of financial and other information with respect thereto, by establishing standards of conduct, responsibility, and obligation for fiduciaries of employee benefit plans, and by […]

Testimony on Disability Insurance Claims Handling Best Practices

Introduction The starting point to keep in mind when analyzing disability insurance claims handling is that both the insurer and the insured share a desire for accurate claims processing so that meritorious claims receive payment. The recent Supreme Court ruling in Metro.Life Ins.Co. v. Glenn 1 reinforced the need for accurate claims processing, 2 and no one who works in […]

Senate Oral Testimony

Introduction Chairman Baucus; Ranking Member Grassley; Members of the Senate Finance Committee. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify at today’s hearing. When ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) was passed in 1974, one of the law’s major sponsors, Senator Jacob Javits, hailed it as “the greatest development in the life of the […]

2012 ERISA Advisory Council Hearing on Managing Disability Risks In an Environment of Individual Responsibility

Executive Summary: I am an experienced practitioner in the field of representing claimants in disability benefit disputes. In my practice, I have encountered a number of problems with ERISA claims and litigation that need to be examined by the Department of Labor: ERISA claimants are denied the last word in claim appeals, which permits insurers […]

Testimony Presented to the ERISA Advisory Council-Working Group on Health and Welfare Benefit Plans’ Communications July 7, 2005

The current regime of treating claims administered by health and disability insurers in the same manner as pension benefit claims has proven to be a recipe for disaster. First and foremost on the agenda for fixing the current system is the need to improve the communications provided to plan participants and their beneficiaries. Judge Richard […]