Company Sponsored Insurance Plans Can Be Dangerous, Expert Warns

October 30, 2008.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was passed in 1974 and was supposed to help employees. Now, when employees are wrongfully denied their benefits, ERISA eliminates any right to a trial by jury, emotional distress and punishment damages, says Frank N. Darras, the nation's leading disability and Long-Term Care insurance lawyer.

The acronym ERISA is everywhere. It is on insurance documents, insurance cards and even on forms you sign in the doctor's office. Few people really understand the dangers of ERISA and what it means, says Darras. See http://www.darrasnews.com/.

"Historically, ERISA has left denied employees without a remedy and whether you are the receptionist or the CEO, ERISA applies and you have no leverage," says Darras.

Look at your insurance card, does it say, ERISA? Here's how it works:

  • Long-term disability under a company-sponsored plan usually covers the insured for only 24 months in their own occupation.
  • After that, the definition of disability shifts to any occupation for which the insured is trained, educated, or suited.
  • To collect payment, you really have to be Social Security disabled.
  • Social Security disabled means you're unable to do any work by which you are trained, educated or suited, but age is a significant factor.
  • If you are not Social Security disabled, your insurance company will find some sedentary job and argue you can do it. The Sharks Circle

In the Sea of ERISA, medical employee insurance claims are not the only area swept under, it's your life and disability insurance as well, says Darras.

If you are a disabled employee and your group insurance carrier denies your legitimate claim and your home is foreclosed on, your equity extinguished and your credit destroyed … those damages are not collectible under ERISA.

Life insurance claims that fall under ERISA are treated the same way as group medical and disability.

To survive, Darras suggests you buy your own disability, medical and life insurance. If you can't and you are wrongfully denied under your corporate sponsored plan, get an expert in insurance law to help you. This is one situation you cannot fight alone and win.