The Trump administration’s employee benefits team is taking a moderate approach toward reviewing major new group disability insurance claim regulations.
Officials at the Employee Benefits Security Administration announced today that they will postpone the effective date of the new regulations 90 days, to April 1, 2018, and only 90 days, to review information on the potential impact of the regulations on the group disability market.
EBSA completed work on the regulations in December 2016, as former President Barack Obama was about to leave office. The regulations, which were originally set to take effect Jan. 1, 2018, would impose new standards for group disability claim reviews. The new regulations would also give claimants quicker, easier access to the courts.
Insurers, employers and administrators have predicted that the new regulations would lead to enough new litigation to increase group disability premiums by 8%.
EBSA, an arm of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), proposed an effective date delay in October. EBSA asked for comments on the idea of pushing back the enforcement date.
About 110 commenters responded to the proposal, EBSA officials write in an explanation of their 90-day delay decision.
Many insurers, employers and administrators asked EBSA to push the effective date back much more than 90 days, but the commenters who represent the claimants “equally strongly oppose any delay of any length,” officials write.
The claimants’ reps argued that the claimants obviously need help with getting their claims paid, because the claimants often have trouble getting benefits even when the Social Security Administration has decided that the claimants are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.