By: Chris Aguiar, Esq.
Wow! What a year 2017 has been. As I sit here and prepare to start the New Year off with a bang by heading to Kansas to testify in federal court on behalf of a client, I’m reminded of just how much more complex subrogation (and self-funding in general) has become. More and more of our clients (and The Phia Group, as well) are being dragged into court to defend their practices and attempts to curb the cost of health care. This is especially on my mind because just this week two Courts in different areas of the Country ruled in favor of our clients. Hospitals challenging our attempts to be innovative, attorneys in anti-subrogation states trying to punish us for being effective at what we do and finding massive holes in their laws, or attorneys on behalf of their clients pushing the limits of current subrogation law and attempting to simply disburse settlement funds in an effort to avoid the reimbursement rights of self-funded benefit plans, prudent management of plan assets is harder than ever before; I don’t expect that trend to reverse. Even the Federal Government is throwing some interesting curveballs into the rotation. What will the impact of the changes to Healthcare Reform be on the mandates that were such pivotal cornerstones to The Affordable Care Act and what impact will that have on the employer-sponsored health plans?
Though it always seems like everything is up in the air, one thing is for certain – self funding is not for the weak. With a target constantly on our backs, we have to be diligent and make sure we are crossing all of our T’s and doing everything by the book (err … the plan document). Any misstep is being dissected by those on the other side of the table as they continue to try to search for ways to invalidate the benefits of self-funding. Whatever 2018 has in store – The Phia Group is proud to be standing on the front lines with our clients and look forward to what I expect to be another action packed year.
Thank you to all of our clients and partners, congratulations on all of your successes, and a Happy New Year to all. Let’s show 2018 what we’ve got!