The Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, which was enacted in 1974, created uniform federal standards for employer-sponsored benefits plans and prevents the application of any varying rules under any state laws that relate to any employer-sponsored plans. These standards apply to both health and retirement plans for employees.
All employers that offer retirement and health benefits are required to follow ERISA laws. The only employers who are exempt from ERISA laws are state, federal, and certain religious organizations. ERISA laws govern all administration of an employer’s plan and defines how any disputes with the policy are handled. The relationship between the employee and employer acts like a “trust” law – the employer appoints a specific person to act as a fiduciary to handle the retirement and health benefits according to the plan documents.
As a business owner, there are health care options that you can offer your employees, which are self-insured, self-administered, self-insured using a third party administrator, and fully insured. You have the option to choose just one plan, or use a combination of two or more of the plans to ensure that your employees have the right amount of coverage in case of any situation. No matter which way you decide to offer health insurance to your employees, all of the same administrative rules of ERISA will still apply to the management and any following disputes that are related to managing the health plan.
For all of your group health insurance needs, or for any questions concerning your existing group health insurance policy, contact Sackett & Associates Insurance Services in Sonoma County, California. We will work with you to ensure that you offer the most comprehensive policy for all of your employees.