ERISA Health Plans: Key Structural Variations and Their Effect on Liability

September 2002
Borzi P

HCFO Issue Brief--September 2002


In fashioning legislative and regulatory responses to consumer and plan sponsor

concerns about our current health care system, policymakers increasingly find themselves

dealing with questions involving the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974

(ERISA) and its relationship to employer-sponsored group health plans. Although

ERISA establishes uniform minimum standards for group health plans in a variety of

areas, the application of these standards and the liability for those charged with carrying

out the standards may vary widely, depending on the way the plan sponsor has structured

its employee benefit plan.