Court Confirms Health Insurers Can’t Sell Discriminatory Insurance Policies

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (the federal appeals court with jurisdiction over Washington and other west coast states) is having a busy summer for insurance cases. On the heels of recent decisions regarding attorneys' fees in ERISA-governed insurance disputes and insurers' duty to reasonably investigate insurance claims comes the July 14, 2020 ruling in Schmitt …

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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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Lawsuit Documents Allegations of Discriminatory Claims Handling By Insurer Who Kept A So-Called “Jewish Lawyer List”

Anyone who's suspected their insurance company gave their claim closer scrutiny because of their race will likely find the allegations in this lawsuit alarming.  In short, the insurance company was sued alleging it discriminated against insureds represented by attorneys identified on the insurance company's secret "Jewish Lawyer List."  The insurer settled that lawsuit, but then …

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