United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Upcoming ERISA-related Supreme Court Cases to Watch

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Jul 23, 2015 12:00:00 PM

The Supreme Court has granted the petition in Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, a case centered on the issue of whether the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) preempts Vermont's health care database law as it was applied to a third-party administrator for a self-funded ERISA plan. Vermont requires health care providers and payers to provide claims data and information to a state health care database, which informs the state on health care policy. The Second Circuit held that ERISA concerns were intruded on by the state's recordkeeping requirements. The Second Circuit held that under ERISA only a "slight reporting burden" is permissible, and the Vermont requirements were burdensome and time-consuming.

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Topics: ERISA, U.S. Supreme Court, Danielle Capilla, Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974

U.S. Supreme Court Finds Same Sex Marriage Is Protected by the 14th Amendment

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Jul 9, 2015 12:00:00 PM

RingsThe Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v Hodges, that the 14th Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex, and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state. The decision was reached 5-4. Justice Kennedy delivered the majority opinion and was joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.

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Topics: Section 125, same sex marriage, group health insurance, Group health plans, U.S. Supreme Court, Danielle Capilla, change in status event, definition of spouse, Obergefell v Hodges

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds ACA Subsidy Eligibility on Federal Exchanges

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Jul 7, 2015 12:00:00 PM

The Supreme Court issued its opinion in King v. Burwell, holding that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may issue regulations to extend tax-credit subsidies to coverage purchased through Exchanges established by the federal government under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The six-to-three opinion was authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, who was joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Justice Scalia dissented, and was joined by Justices Thomas and Alito.

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Topics: health insurance exchanges, health care reform, PPACA Affordable Care Act, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, insurance Marketplace, health care subsidies, U.S. Supreme Court, Danielle Capilla

SCOTUS and the Future of U.S. Health Care

Posted by: Peter Freska    Apr 14, 2015 12:00:00 PM

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” was signed into law with the intention of decreasing the number of uninsured Americans and reducing the overall costs of health care in the United States. In order to increase the number of U.S. citizens covered, a number of mechanisms including mandates, subsidies, and tax credits became effective beginning January 1, 2014. The federal health care law also contains many reforms aimed at improving health care outcomes and streamlining the delivery of care. While this reform may be appealing, there are many concerns as to its viability, beginning with the increased number of people covered to effective reduction of health care costs. In the latest arguments for or against PPACA, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard arguments on the legality of who is able to provide subsidies to those who qualify for subsidies. This lawsuit contends that subsidies are illegal unless a state has set up its own health insurance exchange. The charge is based on wording in the law, which states that subsidies are for health coverage obtained on an “Exchange established by the State under section 1311.”

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Topics: health care reform, premium subsidies, Medicaid, PPACA Affordable Care Act, U.S. Supreme Court, Medicare, single-payer system, Obamacare