Over the past six years, the Task Force has met over 50 times and has tracked several hundred cases related to the Federal Parity Law. To better understand the overall legal trends, see:
To learn more about key parity-related court decisions, selected cases have been summarized in three sections:
One of the more important recent cases is M. S. v. Premera Blue Cross regarding plan disclosure requirements. Federal District Court Judge, Robert Shelby in August 2021 fined Premera Blue Cross $123,100 in statutory penalties, plus reasonable attorney fees, for violating the disclosure requirements associated with the ERISA and Federal Parity Law.[i] Shelby’s fine was tied in large part due to the Defendants three-year delay in turning over key documents to the Plaintiffs. This is the first time that we are aware of a judge leveraging ERISA’s statutory fines for a failure to disclose key documents related to a parity legal action
And of course, the landmark court decision, Wit vs United Behavioral Health, remains in the news while it winds its way through the appeal process. Thus far, all associated court decisions continue to support the Plaintiff class action lawsuit. In August 2021, oral arguments were heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and we are waiting for a published ruling. In May 2021, the Plaintiffs responded to the UBH appeal with their own court filing, contesting UBH’s legal bases on appeal. The Kennedy Forum and 25 other advocacy organizations filed an amicus brief related to this appeal supporting the Plaintiffs in this case. Click here to access the brief.
If you would like to learn more about The Kennedy Forum Legal Task Force, please send The Kennedy Forum an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.