Practice Tips

: : Provider’s Claims Against CIGNA Dismissed For Failure to Allege Existence of Assignment of Benefits By Plan Participants

By the statute’s terms, only a “participant or beneficiary” may bring a claim. Pascack Valley Hosp. v. Local 464A UFCW Welfare Reimbursement Plan, 388 F.3d 393, 400 (3d Cir. 2004). Nonetheless, a healthcare provider may bring claims if it has a valid assignment of benefits from a plan participant. CardioNet, Inc. v. Cigna Health Corp., …

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:: Should ERISA Attorneys Be Held Liable For Aiding & Abetting A Fiduciary Breach?

May an attorney be held liable for aiding and abetting a fiduciary breach? A recent law review article raises the issue and advocates the view. The article isn’t written for an ERISA audience, but it suggests the idea – should attorneys be held liable for advising ERISA fiduciaries on actions that are found to constitute …

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:: Disclaimer Shields Claims Administrator From Mispresentation Claims

Tenet alleges that it provided approximately $ 241,000 worth of medical services to Sylvester based on UniCare’s representation that Sylvester was covered under the Plan. . . .  Pursuant to the Managed Care Agreement, UniCare paid Tenet $ 132,827.34, the negotiated payment under the agreement, on July 27, 2005.  On August 5, 2005, Sheltering Arms …

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:: Sixth Circuit Opinions Applying Estoppel In ERISA Cases – An Anthology

Estoppel under ERISA is an equitable doctrine of the federal common law of contracts designed to enforce ERISA and the agreements made under it. Armistead v. Vernitron, 944 F.3d 1287, 1298 (6th Cir. 1991). There are five elements to an estoppel claim under ERISA: (1) a representation of fact made with gross negligence or fraudulent …

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:: Strategic Decisions In Pleading (And Defending) Provider Reimbursement Claims – A Case Study

St. Luke’s may amend within thirty days. If St. Luke’s amends to assert an ERISA claim, the personal jurisdiction issue is far simpler.  “[U]nder ERISA’s nationwide service of process provision,” 29 U.S.C. § 1132(e)(2), “[a] court may exercise personal jurisdiction over the defendant if it determines that the defendant has sufficient ties to the United …

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:: District Court Holds That Procedural Conflict Results In Expanded Discovery Rights

Two types of potential conflicts can be alleged by a plaintiff, a structural conflict or a procedural conflict. “The structural inquiry focuses on the financial incentives created by the way the plan is organized, whereas the procedural inquiry focuses on how the administrator treated the particular claimant.” Post, 501 F.3d at 162. A structural conflict …

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