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Supreme Court Upholds Health Plan's Contractual Language


New Orleans attorney Michelle Anderson was quoted about a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in the April 17 SHRM Online article “Supreme Court Upholds Health Plan's Contractual Language.” The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in U.S. Airways Inc. v. McCutchen that the equitable remedies section of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) does not authorize courts to rewrite the contractual language of an employer’s health plan. The ruling highlights the need for a carefully written plan document that clearly states whether recovered damages following an accident should be reimbursed to the plan, including attorneys' fees. Michelle commented: "Although this is a win for those self-funded plans governed by ERISA, plan fiduciaries and administrators are wise to review with their counsel the subrogation, reimbursement and attorney fee and costs provisions in the written documents to ensure conformity to the law in this area.”


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