H&W: ERISA Preempts Claim Reporting Law

The United States Supreme Court recently decided the case of Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co.  This case will primarily interest employers with self-insured health plans.

The Court held that a Vermont statute that required insured and self-insured health plans to report information on participant eligibility, medical claims, and pharmacy claims to a data base maintained by the State of Vermont was preempted by ERISA and accordingly Vermont could not require ERISA plans in Vermont to comply with it.

While the decision directly affects employers paying claims incurred in Vermont, a number of states maintain similar databases and have similar reporting requirements.  According to a footnote in Justice Ginsburg dissenting opinion, those States include: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

Employers in these States may wish to consult with counsel regarding the continuing viability of those reporting requirements.

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