Many private, non-government companies offer their employees health insurance coverage, as well as many other benefits, including life insurance, 401k, COBRA insurance, disability insurance, pensions and other retirement plans. If you are employed with such a company, you have rights when it comes to getting your insurance and benefits. The people who handle your health care insurance and benefits with the company are held to certain standards when offering these plans. These standards are listed in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and are otherwise referred to as ERISA.
ERISA requires qualified employers to keep accurate and detailed reporting of offered benefits and must report them to the federal government. Furthermore, the plan is required to provide disclosures to you and other employees, including information about the benefits that are offered, benefit limitations, guidelines to getting benefits and any special requirements needed to obtain benefit coverage. Under ERISA, companies must also have policies in place showing you how to file a claim, as well as how to start the appeals process if your claim is denied for any reason. All policies and funds should be maintained in the best interests of the workers.
As an employee, you may have an incident arise involving the mismanagement of your health insurance, retirement plans or other benefits, causing you to lose money or coverage. In this case, you may seek to file an ERISA claim. The federal law is handled by the Employee Benefits Security Administration division of the U.S. Department of Labor.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.