Illnesses often catch workers by surprise, leaving them unprepared and vulnerable. Fortunately, you can count on health or disability benefits to keep up with your bills.
You can rely on these coverages because they are usually protected by federal policies, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 or ERISA. This federal law allows workers to access their various disability, health and retirement funds whenever necessary. This policy enforces minimal standards to file for claims. This law also safeguards workers’ benefits by enacting the following:
- Guaranteeing workers are aware of their coverages’ details and features.
- Requiring plan providers or managers to prioritize their beneficiaries’ interests.
- Giving covered employees the right to appeal grievances and sue as needed.
- Ensuring payment in the event of a fund’s termination.
Plans not covered by ERISA
This act governs most corporate-provided coverages. Depending on different qualifications, your benefits might not fall under this policy. It leaves out plans:
- Started and managed by the government.
- Run by churches for their employees.
- Set up only for compliance with relevant laws.
- Founded and maintained abroad for non-residents.
Is my plan under ERISA?
Understandably, it can be hard to determine if your coverage is outside this law. Luckily, paperwork can tell you about your plan’s classification. For ERISA benefits, employers must submit the form 5500 series as part of their yearly reporting requirements.
Also, you can contact the Employee Benefits Security Administration or EBSA to clear up any confusion and ask for guidance if you encounter issues with your claim. Likewise, looking at EBSA’s collection of resources can help you learn more about your welfare funds and their procedures.