The ERISA Benefits Litigation Group is dedicated to recognize and combat the abusive practices in health and disability employee benefits. The denial of benefits negatively impacts on employees and their families. The employee benefit system is a huge segment of our economy. Systematic problems including the overselling of disability plans without the collection of adequate premiums, the sale of health insurance as a loss leader to gain market share and then chiseling the patients and physicians leading to substandard health care and fraudulent denials of care. These practices ultimately wrongfully shift the burden to the government and taxpayers to correct the abuses with the social safety nets. This group provides provides a forum for the exchnage of information between members. The group strives to promote the public good though concerted efforts to secure that employee benefits are paid and plenary compensation is available to injured and sick employees.
A conspiracy of the federal judiciary has permitted the perversion of the Employee Retirement Security Act that was intended to help employees. It has become a shield for those who engage in some of the most abusive and fraudulent practices in the insurance industry. Benefits are denied that should clearly be paid. Fiduciary duties are ignored with impunity because there are truncated remedies that have been cobbled together by the courts in clear disregard of congressional intent.
Health care payers cut costs by refusing to pay for treatment. Some insurers deny payment on a random basis to ascertain "fraudulent" claims in the system to the detriment of those with valid claims. Some insurers shift part of the burden to the patients by charging excessive of co-pays or where providers balance bill against state law. Provider contracts shift the risk to the physician for treatment and put the physician in a conflict of interest with their patients. Doctors are coerced into contracts that do not provide adequate compensation and are compelled economically to provide sub-standard treatment.
Payers deny payment for "experimental and investigative treatment." However, most of these procedures are well accepted in the medical profession and may be the best care but they are expensive. This results in the denial of treatment or provision of less efficacious treatment because it is cheap. Medical device manufacturers pay physicians to prescribe or implant medical devices. These may be substandard with known defects.
Disability benefit carriers deny payments for disabled by inventing requirements that are not in the policy/plans. If payments are paid, they are terminated on a whim. Treating physicians are ignored and insurance doctors for the carriers provide spurious reports to give cover for the illegal and abusive denial practices. Bonuses are given adjusters to terminate high dollar claims.
The ERISA Benefits Litigation Group provides a forum for lawyers litigating cases to share knowledge, strategies, and educational resources. The Litigation Group has a secure, members-only list server and document library where members can share pertinent information and documents regarding the litigation. This Litigation Group holds regular meetings that are closed to members only to discuss current cases and important updates.
AAJ Annual and Winter Conventions, or as need by group members.