What are ERISA liens and do I need to worry about them?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you probably have a lot of questions. If you spent time in the hospital and have medical bills, you wonder if you are entitled to compensation. If the other person in the accident doesn’t have insurance, you wonder how you’ll receive the compensation you deserve. You also wonder how long it will take to settle your personal injury claim, and what determines the settlement amount.
When you’re injured in an accident, the most important first step is to receive the proper medical care. In a personal injury claim, the insurance company will not compensate you until after your medical care and car repairs are complete.
A seasoned, knowledgeable attorney can help you through the entire process, and they will especially know parts of the process that you might not be aware of.
What are ERISA Liens?
An ERISA policy can impact your personal injury settlement, as these policies are not subject to North Carolina’s insurance laws.
The Employee Retirement Income and Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that governs some insurance policies. ERISA sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established pension and health plans in private industry to provide protection for individuals in these plans.
ERISA requires insurance plans to provide participants with plan information and provide fiduciary responsibilities for those who manage and control plan assets. It also requires plans to establish a grievance and appeals process for participants to get benefits from their plans and gives participants the right to sue for benefits and breaches of fiduciary duty.
These North Carolina insurance laws aim to protect you in making sure privately-funded health insurance policies cannot seek reimbursement from you due to your personal injury settlement. This means the State is protecting you from having to pay most of your settlement money back to your health insurance provider for the medical care you received.
However, ERISA policies do not provide you this protection. If your health insurance policy is an ERISA plan, your health insurance can likely get reimbursed from you for all medical expenses paid for treatment due to your personal injury. That means you may end up paying most of your settlement money to your health care provider.
We can help you determine if you have an ERISA policy and what impact this will have on your personal injury settlement.
Contact SeiferFlatow, PLLC at 704-512-0606 to schedule your consultation.