Payers Face ‘Ever-Increasing Likelihood’ of ERISA Fiduciary Lawsuits

As plan beneficiaries and lawyers gain access to newly released price transparency data, health plans and plan sponsors must take proactive steps to limit their legal risk of violating health plan fiduciary standards under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), according to experts from the law firm Faegre Drinker. Experienced plaintiffs’ attorneys are actively looking for cases that could establish a cottage legal industry around ERISA plan fiduciary suits, the experts say.

“There is an ever-increasing likelihood that some action or omission by health plan fiduciaries will be scrutinized either by the Department of Labor, or in a class action lawsuit brought by plaintiffs lawyers representing plan participants,” said Kendra Roberson, partner at Faegre Drinker, during a Jan. 25 presentation on ERISA health plan fiduciary legal risk. “These lawsuits would be similar to those that have been brought against retirement plan fiduciaries challenging 401(k) and 403(b) plan fees and costs.”

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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