When an Indian tribe has BCBS health insurance for its employees, does the coverage come under ERISA?
Answer: I think it will depend on what your client does for the tribe.
29 USC 1003(b)(1) provides ERISA does not include a governmental plan as defined in § 1002(32) (includes federal, state or political subdivision "or agency or instrumentality of any of the foregoing." Sec. 1002(32) provides: ". . . . The term "governmental plan" includes a plan which is established and maintained by an Indian tribal government (as defined in section 7701(a)(40) of Title 26), a subdivision of an Indian tribal government (determined in accordance with section 7871(d) of Title 26), or an agency or instrumentality of either, and all of the participants of which are employees of such entity substantially all of whose services as such an employee are in the performance of essential governmental functions but not in the performance of commercial activities (whether or not an essential government function)"
If your client works in a casino, I think it is not a "governmental plan" and ERISA probably applies.
Thu, April 26, 2012
by Sharon Coleman filed under