The ERISA Industry Committee Files an Amicus Brief in Alfred Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company
For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in Alfred Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company arguing that Vermont’s law to require the reporting of health claims paid by self-funded benefit plans is preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The Court’s decision will have important implications not only for self-funded employer health plans, but for all other employer benefit plans as well.
ERIC, the only national trade association advocating solely for the employee benefit and compensation interests of the country’s largest employers, filed the brief jointly with the American Benefits Council, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the HR Policy Association, the National Business Group on Health, and the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America.
ERIC believes state reporting laws, like the one in Vermont, disrupt the ability of employers of self-funded plans to administer their plans uniformly across the 50 states and countless municipalities. If forced to comply with multiple different requirements, self-funded employer plans would be required to divert scarce financial and administrative resources to these state-specific rules, which ultimately reduces the resources available to pay benefits to workers and their families.
“Congress created ERISA to keep employee benefit plans strong and to ensure that they are administered for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants and their beneficiaries,” said Annette Guarisco Fildes, president and CEO, ERIC. “State-specific reporting rules violate ERISA and undermine the employer-sponsored health care system. If Vermont’s law were found not to be preempted, this could well open the floodgates to a deluge of state-specific laws that would erode the foundation of ERISA and, ultimately, jeopardize the ability of employers to offer the same benefits to all of their employees across the country, regardless of where they live and work. ”