ERISA regulations have now been in place for nearly 50 years. The act is officially known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
Due to the longevity of the act, it has naturally evolved and changed over the years. This has been done through the use of amendments. The general focus has been on expanding the protections offered to those who are covered, although in practice that has not always been the case. Here are three particular amendments to consider.
1. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
COBRA helps those who are the victims of some possibly unexpected events, allowing their health coverage to continue, at least for a little while. One example could be if someone loses their job and then suddenly doesn’t have any health coverage.
2. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
HIPAA is aimed at protecting people’s privacy, in the sense that no one can force a medical provider to reveal personal details about that person. The goal is to reduce discrimination when it comes to the health coverage that they are offered.
3. The Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act (NMHPA)
NMHPA helps to ensure that mothers have proper care after giving birth to their children and that they are allowed to stay in the hospital for a minimum amount of time while still being covered. For instance, someone who had a C-section generally gets 96 hours, at minimum, while someone who had a natural birth may get 48 hours.
These are certainly not all the amendments and changes to ERISA over the years, but they help to show how the law can evolve and what you may need to consider if you’re interested in filing or if your claim has been denied. Be sure you are aware of all of your legal options.