NU Online News Service, Jan. 30, 2004, 3:43 p.m. EST – The federal government is asking for public comments on employee benefit plan claim denial rules.[@@]
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 requires a benefit plan sponsor to issue a written or electronic notice every time it denies a claim. The notice must give the reasons for the denial and tell the claimant how to file an appeal.
Congress included the notice requirement in ERISA in an effort to ensure that benefit plans give each claim a full, fair review, and to ensure that claimants get enough information to appeal denials.
Now, to comply with federal paperwork reduction rules, the Office of Management and Budget is conducting a routine review of the ERISA claim denial rules for the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Labor Department estimates in an announcement of the review that the ERISA denial rules cost 6.7 million respondents about $90.6 million per year.