Impact of Potential Changes to ERISA: Litigation and Appeals Experience of CalPERS, Other Large Public Employers and a Large California Health Plan

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) currently preempts state law related to the wrongful denial or delay of health benefits to the extent that such laws relate to a health benefit plan sponsored by a private employer. This report examines the frequency, nature and costs associated with the appeals and litigation that state and local governmental employers have experienced. Information was gathered through multiple telephone interviews with individuals with extensive involvement in administrative appeals and litigation experience of health benefit issues for these government-sponsored health benefit programs.