Alaska’s prompt pay statute—which requires insurers to pay benefit claims within 30 days of submission—is preempted by federal laws governing employer-provided benefits and benefits for government workers, a federal judge ruled.
The case is Zipperer v. Premera Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Alaska, 2016 BL 265226, D. Alaska, No. 3:15-CV-00208 JWS, 8/16/16. (Kudos to my partner, Gwendolyn Payton, on this big win).
The judge’s Aug. 16 decision is the latest in a string of decisions striking down or scaling back state prompt pay laws as preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act.
Earlier this year, a federal appeals court partly struck down Texas’s prompt pay law under the FEHBA and found it inapplicable to self-funded ERISA plans. Georgia’s prompt pay law was partly struck down as ERISA-preempted by a different appeals court in 2014. A district judge in Illinois reached a similar conclusion with respect to that state’s law in 2014.