Who Really Is ERISA?

One area of growing concern is the health care industry. I am referring to the companies that run managed care. For too long the health care industry has never had their actions contested as they have held behind the shield and protection of Federal Law.

Their protection comes in the form of ERISA, which applies to all insured’s except those employed by a governmental agency. ERISA refers to the title, “Employee Retirement Income Security Act,” which was established through a 1974 federal law. Most people however do not know that this Federal Law prevents U.S. citizens’ ability to collect damages for denial of medical treatment that results in death, injury or economic loss.

Rather ERISA allows people to recover only the benefits they were entitled to (i.e. the cost of the medical expense). This injustice has led to litigation wherein personal injury attorneys seek to expose managed care companies and their business practices which often place profits before people.

These business practices can include sending patient’s to substandard facilities, referring patients to incompetent physicians, denying access to specialists, denying treatment coverage, and otherwise control the way physicians manage their practices which leads them to deny or limit care.

This area of growing concern and the impact ERISA is having on the American public should be on the forefront of the litigation battle for years to come.