McDermott Will & Emery’s Andrew C. Liazos, Michael B. Kimberly and Charlie Seidell recently filed an amicus brief in the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on behalf of the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC). McDermott filed the brief in response to a US Department of Labor (DOL) amicus brief that advanced a novel interpretation of its regulations which, if adopted through litigation, would change longstanding procedures for benefit determinations under self-funded medical plans sponsored by large employers. The amicus brief focuses on key arguments against the DOL’s attempted regulatory reinterpretation, including that:
- DOL may not rewrite its regulations outside of notice-and-comment rulemaking;
- DOL’s interpretation of its own regulations is inconsistent with the plain text of the regulations;
- There are good policy reasons underlying differential treatment of healthcare and disability benefits determinations; and
- DOL’s interpretation of the regulations in its amicus brief is not entitled to deference under the Supreme Court decision in Kisor.