If you’ve spent any time poking around our website or other benefits information, you’ve probably come across the acronym, ERISA, but what is it? ERISA is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, initially drafted to address problems with corporate pension plans. The completed act was signed into law by President Ford and also included laws concerning all employee benefits instead of only pensions. The resulting act was detailed regarding pensions, but it was underdeveloped regarding disability, health, life, and medical benefits, the developed law for all of which became inapplicable.
ERISA has been amended over 40 times. Those amendments include the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), which allows workers to temporarily have continued coverage by their former employers’ health plans as well as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), which provides rights and protections for a health plan’s participants and beneficiaries. These amendments and others have turned ERISA into what it is today, a confusing jumble only years of study and experience can properly navigate.
While it is always advisable to consult a lawyer when dealing with any piece of legislature, the nature of ERISA law makes having an attorney (who is experienced with ERISA) at your side a huge advantage. Even practicing lawyers experienced with other areas of the law can find it difficult to understand ERISA; so protect yourself, and hire a lawyer who knows all the tricks of ERISA law.
Find your ERISA lawyer in Tuscaloosa at the Martin Law Group, LLC.