Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is a federal law governing the terms and conditions under which employers may administer their own employee benefits, including health benefits. Congress intended ERISA to preempt any state attempts to regulate these “self-funded” employer benefit plans. The formation of any state-level health reform initiative, therefore, must be cognizant of any potential implications relative to ERISA. The Center for Health Law and Economics at UMass Medical School has expertise in this important area of the law and can assist state policy makers in designing legal, financial and programmatic structures for their reform plans that avoid conflict with ERISA.