The Senate and House of the US Congress
United States of America

Petition started September 2001 by a person who has a disabling condition, worked all her life, and was improperly denied long-term disability from her insurance company (AND employer), despite medical evidence to the contrary.

The reason for the denial? Because they "CAN". Claimants cannot sue, except in Federal Court after a long process overseen by the insurance company, and then only for the exact amt of the LTD. Insurance companies KNOW about the ERISA loophole and use it to their advantage. MILLIONS OF AMERICANS ARE AFFECTED BY THIS, as their LTD benefits are covered under ERISA.

In 1974 Congress passed a law called ERISA. It left some holes in areas where there was no consensus, expecting that these holes would be filled by the courts. The courts did the best they could, but inadvertently created a situation where insurance companies can fail to pay legitimate ERISA claims with no adverse consequences. That certainly could not have been the intent of Congress. It's time to revisit ERISA and provide new guidance regarding welfare benefit plans:
1. Allow participant/beneficiary suits to be brought in state courts, or specifically allow for both compensatory/punitive damages in ERISA cases brought in federal courts. The same caps can be used on punitive damages as those in the "Patients Bill of Rights."
2. State that the legal standard of review in all ERISA-based litigation shall be "de novo" regardless of
any language in the Summary Plan Description (SPD). We, the undersigned, petition for your immediate action in this regard.

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The Reform ERISA Now petition to The Senate and House of the US Congress was written by Linda Leiby and is in the category Health at GoPetition.