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Lafayette ERISA Attorney

Lafayette ERISA Attorney

ERISA has been in place since the 1970s, and consequently, plenty of amendments have been made to it over the years. These amendments were made to prove employees with additional protections for things such as longer coverage, coverage for mental health issues, and reconstructive surgery for patients suffering from cancer.

Another important amendment to ERISA includes the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA. This amendment was enacted in 1985 ensuring that employees who were let go under certain situations could still receive healthcare benefits for a specific period of time. HIPAA, or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act were also enacted to give employees credit for having previous insurance coverage and to limit previously existing medical conditions.

The Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act is another amendment that requires maternity coverage to be offered by plans that will pay for a mother’s hospital stay after giving birth. These are all acts that you need to be familiar with to ensure that you are getting all the benefits that you deserve.

  • What is COBRA? This amendment to ERISA was put into effect in 1985. It was created so that employees could continue to receive healthcare coverage for their families and themselves through their employer for a specific period of time if they are let go. The COBRA coverage must be purchased by the employee and does not apply to employees who were terminated for certain conduct or who voluntarily left their positions.

A person is only eligible to receive COBRA benefits if they already had coverage prior to losing their coverage. There also need to be a qualifying event that allows the employee to continue to receive benefits such as following a divorce.

  • What is the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHRCA)? This amendment was put into effect in 1998. The WHRCA offers protection to women who have had mastectomies due to breast cancer. Employers who offer health coverage benefits for mastectomy surgery must also offer breast reconstruction surgery benefits for women who choose to do so.
  • What is HIPAA? Since being put into place in 1996, this amendment has made it easier for dependents and employees to receive health benefits from their employers. This amendment limits exclusions for preexisting conditions.
  • What is the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act? There is still a stigma around mental illness, but this law was designed in 2008 to help those who are suffering from such diseases. This ERISA amendment only applies to employers who have at least 50 workers and states that restrictions for mental health benefits cannot be more exclusive than those placed on other medical issues.
  • What is the Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act? This ERISA amendment is sometimes referred to as the Newborns’ Act and offers protection for mothers who have just given birth. It allows mothers to stay in the hospital for up to 96 hours after cesarean birth and 48 hours for a vaginal birth.

Contact an Experienced ERISA Attorney

ERISA laws, including the many amendments, can be complex and confusing. They are not an area of law that you want to attempt to tackle yourself. Contact the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara today to schedule a consultation and let us help you ensure that your ERISA rights are being protected and you are getting the benefits you deserve.

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