Amendments under Employment Retirement Income Security Act (1974)
There are several amendments which have been done under the act (ERISA), which are basically in the field of expansion for the health benefit of plan beneficiaries and participants. One of the important amendments is
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) This amendment gives the opportunity to workers including their family members who has lost the health benefits and gives them the right to continue the benefit of group health for a limited period of time under certain situations such as reducing the working hours, divorce, death, transition between jobs, involuntary or voluntary retirement.
The other important amendment is
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act: This act basically includes the benefits for the participants and beneficiaries regarding the rights and protection under group health plans. The act includes the group health plans which doesnâ€™t discriminate employees and their dependents according to their health status.
There are some other important amendments, which includes the following:
The Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act
The Womenâ€™s Health and Cancer Rights Act
The Newbornsâ€™ and Mothersâ€™ Health Protection Act
Plan Information Employment Retirement Income Security Act (1974)
The ERISA requires administrators for the people responsible for executing the plan: the people who give the participants in written the important facts related to their health benefits and retirement including the plan rules, management of the plan, documents on the plan, and financial information.
This type of information, which includes some of the facts, is shared by the plan administrator automatically and regularly provided to the participants.
Other types will be made available on request which is free of charge or for a copying fee, but the request should be submitted in writing.
The plans are designed such that they precisely mention and explain the benefits provided to the participants. The SBC, Summary of Benefits and Coverage, is a kind of template which remains the same for everyone which describes the main features of the plan including the limitations, provisions, and benefits.
If any participant is unable to reach the plan administrator for getting the annual report, he can go and reach out to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Fiduciary Responsibilities under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (1974)
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act is responsible for providing protection to the assets by assigning control over managing capital and assets through fiduciaries. The responsibility of fiduciaries is initially to cater to the interests of the plan holders and extending benefits to them without any flaw or discrepancy. They arrange and manage the schemes such that losses are eliminated and participants are benefited to the maximum. They include the members of the committee, which formulates plans, administrators, and the trustees. Fiduciaries bear the losses made due to their fault so that the assets as planned are not improperly used. ERISA strictly lists the subjugation of fiduciaries who do not adhere to the principles listed by ERISA.
They are often removed from their posts to ensure fair functioning. The fiduciary responsibility holds significance in ERISA because the transaction of assets and benefits can easily be breached by overlooking the minute details of the plan obligations or done deliberately for oneâ€™s own benefit.