The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 was a remedial statute that established a federally-regulated framework for employee benefits plans. The act now governs over two million self-funded benefits plans across the nation and ERISA plans serve as the primary means of health care for most non-government North Carolina families headed by one or more workers.
An employee benefits package generally falls under the jurisdiction of ERISA if the plan is self-funded, which is to say that it is sponsored by the employee. Statutory exceptions to ERISA are those plans which are only extended to owners, partners, and their spouses (rather than to a non-owner employee), as well as church and government plans.
Unfortunately, much of the act itself is purposely worded vaguely, allowing for courts to consider context in deciding certain matters. To further complicate things, state insurance law is sometimes positioned in direct conflict with federally mandated ERISA. It is because of these snags and obstacles that a well-practiced ERISA attorney in Asheville is a necessary component in any situation involving self-funded employee benefits plans. Fisher Stark is one of very few law firms in Asheville that has experienced practitioners in matters of ERISA litigation, including the following:
- Helping employers and plan sponsors understand their obligations under ERISA
- Helping employees understand the rights protected by ERISA
- Recognizing and rectifying false claims
- Obtaining just compensation for legitimate claims
The attorneys at Fisher Stark are dedicated to combining their expertise with factual evidence in order to build up the strongest case that will best serve you. If you are a business that offers a self-funded employee benefits plan and you suspect a false claim, are unclear on your obligations, or just want to become familiar with ERISA plans, please contact our office to see how we can help protect your business interests. If you are an employee who requires or receives medical treatment for injury or illness and suspect that your employee benefits plan is regulated by ERISA, or if you simply want to know more about what an ERISA governed plan entails, please contact our office to make sure your rights are protected.