ERISA is short for Employment Retirement Income Securities Act. It is an octopus of federal regulations that largely do not mean a whole lot to people unless they get involved in an injury accident and need their health insurance to pay for medical bills.
In that situation, there is a certain classification of health insurance that is regulated under federal ERISA law. When it comes to paying back health insurance benefits, knowing whether the insurance plan is or is not regulated by ERISA is critical. If your group health insurance comes from a company that you, your spouse, or your parents work for that is a very large multi-national corporation with thousands or hundreds of thousands of employees, it is exceedingly likely that ERISA would apply to the payback of any benefits your health insurance paid related to your injury accident. Alternatively, if you work at a small company with less than 25 or 30 employees, it is highly likely that ERISA would not apply to that health insurance, or the payback of any benefits health insurance paid related to your accident with injuries.
In Colorado, we have some exceptionally generous laws that look to put money in the injured person’s hands even at the risk of not paying back health insurance. However, those laws only apply to non-ERISA regulated health insurance plans. Whereas policies written under ERISA coverage preempt our good state laws, and are not nearly as generous under most circumstances. Your personal injury lawyer should be well versed in federal ERISA law and should be able to quickly identify whether ERISA applies to you and the consequences, if any, related to your likely need to pay back any amount your health insurance plain paid related to your personal injury accident. If you have been injured in a car accident and you want to know more about your potential obligation to pay back your health insurance provider from your settlement or recovery, please call Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn at (303) 782-9999 today.