Title

State Regulation of Managed Care and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-26-1996

ISSN

0028-4793

Publisher

Massachusetts Medical Society

Language

en-US

Abstract

The federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)1 is the federal law that governs employee-benefit plans offered by private employers and unions. ERISA has long hindered state efforts to expand access to health care, because it prohibits states from requiring all employers to offer benefits to their employees.2 States have shifted their attention from seeking universal insurance coverage for health care to regulating the benefits of people who already have health insurance. Reports describing how some managed-care organizations limit the care provided to their enrollees have prompted a rash of legislative efforts intended to protect patients from receiving substandard care.3 Yet here too, ERISA has prevented state laws regulating managed care from being uniformly enforced.4

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