Understanding ERISA in Maryland

ERISA, or The Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, is a federal law that applies to many private employers. The law establishes minimum standards for plans to protect both employees and employers.

However, insurance carriers usually process a large number of claims and understand it may be in their best interest to deny claims whenever possible. Many insurance ERISA plans operate under an implied conflict of interest, where the entity that makes the decision to accept or deny the claim is also financially responsible.

If an insurance company unfairly denies your claim without a valid reason, you can face an uphill battle. Understanding ERISA in Maryland often involves navigating through a series of complex laws. An experienced ERISA attorney could represent your best interests in federal courts and fight to maximize settlement and recovery potential.

How Does ERISA Protect Maryland Employees?

ERISA requires each pension plan to notify participants on how to file a claim for benefits and also to notify them if there are any significant changes to their plan. Additionally, ERISA also requires that employers notify participants of what standards they need to meet in order to receive their benefits.

ERISA also protects employees from abusive plan fiduciaries. A fiduciary is someone who has discretionary authority and control over the assets and management of the pension plan, such as trustees or plan administrators.

Fiduciaries are generally tasked with working for the benefit of plan participants and may be tasked with investing on behalf of the participant. If any wrongdoing takes place that results in a large loss for an employee, a fiduciary may be held liable for damages. This system can provide employees more security against abuses carried out without their knowledge.

Who Abides by ERISA Law in Maryland?

The protective laws under ERISA apply to private employers that offer health insurance coverage and other types of benefit plans to employees. ERISA only sets minimum standards for certain types of benefits and does not require employers to offer any plans for health insurance or retirement.

ERISA regulates and set standards and requirements for:

  • Conduct
  • Disclosures
  • Financial and best-interest protection
  • Reporting and accountability

Important Facts on ERISA and Disability Claim Lawsuits

When an employee files a claim, ERISA sets a time limit for the insurance company to decide whether to accept or deny a disability claim.

If an employee’s claim is denied, an employee may file an appeal. ERISA controls deadlines for employees to file an appeal as well as deadlines for insurance companies to accept or deny the appeal.

If an employee’s appeal is denied, then the next step may be to file a lawsuit against the insurance company for improperly denying the claim. In most cases, the judge looks at the policyholder’s file with the insurance company, which contains all of the documents related to the policyholder’s insurance plan, claims, appeals, and denials. Unless there is adequate documentation in the field, the judge may look to defer to the plan manager’s reasoning for the denial.

Contact a Maryland Attorney Who Understands ERISA

If you are considering filing a claim for an ERISA-regulated plan, a skilled attorney who can provide you with a thorough understanding of ERISA in Maryland could help you fight to obtain the benefits you are entitled to. Call today and set up your consultation.