Ama Policy

AMA Policy on ERISA H-285.915


1. Our AMA will seek, through amendment of the ERISA statute, through enactment of separate federal patient protection legislation, through enactment of similar state patient protection legislation that is uniform across states, and through targeted elimination of the ERISA preemption of self-insured health benefits plans from state regulation, to require that such self-insured plans: (a) Ensure that plan enrollees have access to all needed health care services; (b) Clearly disclose to present and prospective enrollees any provisions restricting patient access to or choice of physicians, or imposing financial incentives concerning the provision of services on such physicians; (c) Be regulated in regard to plan policies and practices regarding utilization management, claims submission and review, and appeals and grievance procedures; (d) Conduct scientifically based and physician-directed quality assurance programs; (e) Be legally accountable for harm to patients resulting from negligent utilization management policies or patient treatment decisions through all available means, including proportionate or comparative liability, depending on state liability rules; (f) Participate proportionately in state high-risk insurance pools that are financed through participation by carriers in that jurisdiction; (g) Be prohibited from indemnifying beneficiaries against actions brought by physicians or other providers to recover charges in excess of the amounts allowed by the plan, in the absence of any provider contractual agreement to accept those amounts as full payment; (h) Inform beneficiaries of any discounted payment arrangements secured by the plan, and base beneficiary coinsurance and deductibles on these discounted amounts when providers have agreed to accept these discounted amounts as full payment; (i) Be subject to breach of contract actions by providers against their administrators; and (j) Adopt coordination of benefits provisions applying to enrollees covered under two or more plans.

2. Our AMA will continue to advocate for the elimination of ERISA preemption of self insured health plans from state insurance laws consistent with current AMA policy.

Policy Timeline

CMS Rep. 6, I-96 Reaffirmation A-97 Reaffirmed: Rules and Cred. Cmt., I-97 Reaffirmed by Sub. Res. 202, A-98 Reaffirmation I-98 Reaffirmation A-99 Reaffirmed: Res. 238, A-00 Renumbered: CMS Rep. 7, I-05 Reaffirmed and Modified: Res. 223, I-10 Reaffirmed in lieu of Res. 235, A-11: BOT action in response to referred for decision Res. 235, A-11 Reaffirmed: CMS Rep. 6, A-12 Reaffirmed in lieu of: Res. 235, A-17 Reaffirmed: Res. 206, I-20