On December 2, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company (Liberty Mutual) operates a self-insured employee health plan through a third-party administrator. Vermont state law requires such plans to file with the State reports concerning claims data and certain other information. When Vermont subpoenaed claims data from Liberty Mutual’s third-party administrator, Liberty Mutual sued and argued that the federal Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) preempted the Vermont statute. The district court found no preemption and ruled in favor of Vermont. On appeal a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed and held that ERISA preemption did apply.
The question before the Court is whether the Second Circuit erred in holding that ERISA preempts Vermont's health care database law as applied to the third-party administrator for a self-funded ERISA plan.
To discuss the case, we have John Ohlendorf, who is an associate at Cooper & Kirk, PLLC.