By
Steve Harris, CEBS, Holmes Murphy Employee Benefits Development Officer

When I was in 7th grade, my fellow symphonic band members and I would raise money each year by selling popcorn door to door. In the late ‘70s, there was no internet, mobile phones, or apps so neighbors would answer the front door to help an ambitious kid wearing polyester.

That particular 7th grade year, I was about three blocks from my house when a school bully stopped me out of nowhere to steal my bike, took all the cash I had collected, and punched me in the face. This teen had a mustache, smoked, was rumored to carry a switchblade in Junior High and was proficient with num-chuks. I was a first-chair trumpet player. The heroin of this story was a mom across the street who witnessed something wrong, put on her cape, and stepped in to make it right.

While the story may be different, the effort of putting on that “cape” is very much the same when it comes to Holmes Murphy and the support we provide to clients. Allow me to explain.

Healthcare Industry Oversight

The dawn of a new year and administration brings promise of a different kind of oversight for players in the healthcare and benefit industry.

Joe Biden’s choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Bacerra, was a former Attorney General who was successful in bringing an antitrust case against a nonprofit healthcare giant whose monopolistic practices drove up the cost of medical care in Northern California.

On January 13, 2021, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2020 was passed by the House and Senate and signed into law. This law limits the antitrust exemption available to health insurance companies under the McCarran-Ferguson Act.

Did you know that the major health carriers were exempt under federal law? Health and dental insurers, however, will now be subject to the same federal antitrust laws that govern all other businesses.

Class-Action Settlements Impacting Employee Benefits Claims

At Holmes Murphy, we recognize the importance of working cohesively with service providers large and small that support our clients’ business needs. However, when a violation of law results in a class-action settlement impacting one or more of our clients, we have an obligation to put on our cape.

The two most common class-action suits impacting our employee benefit clients occurred in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

As an example, in 2009 a major pharmaceutical company promoted a drug outside the FDA’s approval resulting in a $1.4 billion settlement.  We’re now currently monitoring a class-action settlement involving nearly one out of every three Americans worth nearly $2 billion in settlement funds. These dollars will get distributed to employers who were covered by this health carrier and whose benefit brokers and consultants are astute enough to assist them in filing a claim.

Putting on the Cape to Help You

As a client of Holmes Murphy, we believe every dollar we can help recover for you helps offset the rising cost of corporate healthcare, employee benefits, and insurance.

Just as I was grateful to that single mother who bravely flew to my rescue, I am thankful to serve alongside 1,000 full-time cape wearers at Holmes Murphy who exclusively represent the interests of our clients.

If you’d like to learn more about Settlement and Recovery Services and whether your company is eligible to file a claim, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or your Holmes Murphy Employee Benefits representative.

P.S. Ricky…if you make parole, I look forward to seeing you at the next high school reunion. I am no longer afraid to address you and will be among the alums wearing a suit…and a red cape.