Insurer-Reporting Rules Picked Up by High Court

     WASHINGTON (CN) – Vermont must defend its health insurance reporting requirements to the Supreme Court, the justices said Monday.
     Liberty Mutual brought the challenge at issue as the operator of a self-insured employee health plan.
     A Vermont law statute requires all “health insurers,” including self-insured plans, to file reports with the state containing claims data and other “information relating to health care,” but Liberty Mutual contended that federal law pre-empts such regulation.
     Though a federal judge ruled for the state, the Second Circuit reversed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
     That ruling emphasized two “constants” of ERISA pre-emption doctrine: “(1) recognition that ERISA’s preemption clause is intended to avoid a multiplicity of burdensome state requirements for ERISA plan administration; and (2) acknowledgment that ‘reporting’ is a core ERISA administrative function.”
     “These two considerations lead us to conclude that the Vermont law, as applied to compel the reporting of Liberty Mutual plan data, is preempted,” the court found.     
     Per its custom, the U.S. Supreme Court issued no comment in taking up the case Monday, upon the petition for certiorari by Alfred Gobeille, chair of the Vermont Green Mountain Care Board.

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