Know Your Rights – ERISA Claim Deadlines

We've previously blogged about the importance of meeting deadlines in your claim for benefits under an ERISA-governed insurance policy.  Most ERISA plans have strict deadlines for submitting a claim, appealing the insurance company's denial of your claim, and filing a lawsuit.  The deadlines are strict and ERISA is draconian about deadlines - missing them by …

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ERISA Plans Can’t Discriminate Against Domestic Partners, Court Rules

In Washington, and many other states, domestic partners enjoy the same rights and legal protections as spouses.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently confirmed that domestic partnerships' equal treatment under state law extends to ERISA plans. ERISA plans typically give the plan administrator broad discretion to interpret the terms of the plan.  This often …

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How Do I Know Whether To Make A Disability Insurance Claim?

Many people understand that they have disability insurance coverage, but aren't sure whether, when, or how to make a claim.  This confusion often results in people delaying in submitting a claim, which can potentially jeopardize their right to coverage.  Below is a guide to some of the issues you might consider in determining whether to …

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Court Emphasizes Importance of Making Insurance Claims Promptly in ERISA Disability Dispute

A recent decision from our neighbors in the Portland, Oregon federal courts emphasizes that insurance policyholders should always strive to submit claims as soon as possible - especially where the insurance policy is covered by ERISA. Often, it's not practical to submit insurance claims as soon as the loss occurs.  When your house burns down, …

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Does ERISA Apply to COBRA Coverage?

ERISA applies to most insurance obtained through an employer. "COBRA" coverage is insurance coverage you get after your employment ends.  So it's understandable if you assume that COBRA coverage isn't ERISA-governed. Surprisingly, many courts have held that ERISA governs COBRA coverage after all. ERISA generally applies to any insurance procured by an employer for the …

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