Health Insurance Supreme Court of the United States

News & Analysis as of

Unlike Diamonds, You Cannot Presume Retiree Medical Benefits Are Forever

Last week, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision that gives unionized employers in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky greater ability to modify medical benefits they provide to retirees pursuant to current...more

Supreme Court Reverses the Sixth Circuit’s Yard-Man Presumption

For the past quarter century, because of conflicting legal authority, employers who offer health care to their retirees, particularly in a unionized setting, have struggled to determine whether they can alter those benefits....more

Supreme Court Addresses an Employer’s Right To Amend Retiree Health Coverage

In M&G Polymers v. Tackett, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that ordinary contract principles govern whether a collective bargaining agreement vests retirees in health coverage (and the contributions they are required to pay for...more

Supreme Court Rejects Sixth Circuit's Approach to Retiree Medical Benefits

Ordinary contract principles govern disputes about collectively bargained retiree medical benefits. A Morgan Lewis team secured a major victory for employers when the U.S. Supreme Court, in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v....more

Supreme Court Dispenses With the Yard-Man Inferences

In a decision watched closely by both employers and unions, a unanimous Supreme Court has resolved a thirty-plus year split among the circuit courts on the standards governing claims for retiree health-care benefits arising...more

Ding-Dong, Yard-Man Is Dead! Supreme Court Decision in Tackett a Huge Win for Employers in the Retiree Healthcare Arena

On Monday, a unanimous United States Supreme Court issued its decision in M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, Supreme Court Case No. 13-101, vacating and remanding the Sixth Circuit’s holding that a group of retirees was...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects the Yard-Man Inference Vesting Lifetime Benefits for Union Retirees

In M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned three decades of precedent by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, unanimously ruling that, when no specific provision in a...more

Supreme Court Rejects Yard-Man: Ordinary Contract Principles Apply When Interpreting Retiree Medical Promises

The Supreme Court has unanimously vacated a Sixth Circuit ruling that a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) vested retirees with lifetime medical benefits. M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 759...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights #4

This week, the IRS announces relief for some taxpayers who received excess advanced premium tax credits; Indiana and Arkansas make major announcements on Medicaid expansion and Iowa’s Governor announces a shift towards...more

Decision Alert: US Supreme Court Potentially Shifts the Balance in Healthcare Employee Benefits Litigation

Justice Clarence Thomas and a unanimous US Supreme Court decided to vacate a Sixth Circuit decision and hold that the federal courts cannot assume from silence in a union’s collective bargain agreement that retiree group...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rebukes Reliance on Yard-Man In Retiree Health Benefit Dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Sixth Circuit’s reliance on retiree-friendly inferences set forth in UAW v. Yard-Man are incompatible with ordinary principles of contract interpretation and should not be used when...more

Supreme Court Decides M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett

On January 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, holding that ordinary principles of contract law govern the interpretation of pension and insurance provisions of...more

Traditional Contract Rules Determine Whether Retirees Are Entitled to Lifetime Healthcare Benefits

Yesterday, in a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that courts must apply ordinary rules of contract interpretation when determining whether retiree healthcare benefits vest for life pursuant to the terms of a...more

Labor & Employment E- Note - December 2014

In This Issue: - SCOTUS Says Firms Don't Have to Pay for Security Screening Time - EEOC Saw Decline in Discrimination Settlements, Number of Cases - HHS Closes Loophole Allowing Employers to Cut Hospital...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights: November 2014 #2

With the conclusion of the midterm elections last week and open enrollment just around the corner, this week’s news highlights both renewed pledges from the opposition and a flurry of implementation activity in the states....more

Supreme Court will hear King v. Burwell

On November 7, the Supreme Court announced it would hear its second significant legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). King v. Burwell, expected to be heard this spring and ruled on by the end of June, is a direct...more

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Arguments Involving Federal Health Insurance Exchange Subsidies

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s decision in King v. Burwell. In that case, the Fourth Circuit held that tax credits for health insurance...more

Supreme Court to Decide Who Is Entitled to the Federal Health Care Subsidy

Are the federal government’s subsidies to purchasers of health insurance available only to those who purchase insurance from state-run exchanges or to those who purchase from federal health care exchanges as well? Was the...more

Health Plans Petition the Supreme Court to Determine Whether FEHBA Preempts State Anti-Subrogation Statutes

The Federal Employees Health Benefit Act (FEHBA) governs federal employee health plans and contains a broad preemption clause comparable to the one found in ERISA.1 Despite the similarity, state and federal courts are split...more

HEAL Advisory: How Big Is Halbig? The Potential Effects of This Major Ruling Are Numerous and Significant

On July 22, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued conflicting opinions on a key aspect of the Affordable Care Act ("ACA"). The cases are Halbig v....more

Hobby Lobby: Just a Start

As a trial lawyer, I rarely pay much attention to dissenting opinions. They do not serve as meaningful precedent, and they tend only to express the loser’s frustrated perspective. But Justice Ginsburg’s dissent in the Supreme...more

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby: What Else the Hobby Lobby Decision means

Whether you are a friend or foe of the Hobby Lobby decision handed down by the United States Supreme Court this past Monday, citizens must know the very real and far-reaching consequences of the decision. This...more

The Surprising Truth about Hobby Lobby's Effect in California

On June 30, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, holding that closely-held corporations could refuse to provide contraceptive coverage mandated by U.S....more

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari to Review Sixth Circuit’s Pro-Union Inference in Retiree Health Insurance Benefits Cases

The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to resolve a circuit split about how courts should interpret collective bargaining agreements that provide for health insurance benefits for retired employees in M&G Polymers...more

What To Do About DOMA? Recent U.S. Supreme Court Case Carries Significant Implications For Employee Benefit Plans - Employers Need...

On June 26, 2013, in U.S. v. Windsor, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") was unconstitutional. Section 3 of DOMA provided that, for the purpose of any federal law, "marriage"...more

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