The Supreme Court has handed down its latest in a long line of decisions on enforcing the reimbursement provisions of self-funded ERISA welfare plans. As evidenced by the Court’s lopsided 8-1 decision, the result in Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan will not surprise those familiar with the law in this area. But as indicated by Justice Ginsburg’s indignant dissent, plan sponsors may find the decision downright bizarre. After all, it tells participants who double-recover for medical benefits paid by their employer’s health plan that they’re off the hook – if they spend the money fast enough.
Subrogation and Reimbursement
The Supreme Court has handed down another important case in its line of decisions on enforcing the reimbursement provisions of self-funded ERISA welfare plans. The lesson in US Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen is, once again, the importance of an airtight reimbursement provision.