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Benefits — Arizona


Although employee benefit plans and programs sponsored by employers are affected by several federal and state laws, such plans and programs are primarily regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), as amended. With some limited exceptions applicable to the regulation of the insurance, banking or securities industries, ERISA preempts state laws relating to ERISA-covered employee benefit plans. Thus, employers must look primarily to ERISA for guidance regarding their duties and obligations under their employee benefit plans and programs.

This chapter provides a basic outline of the ERISA requirements that most affect employers in the administration of their employee benefit plans. The chapter does not attempt to be a comprehensive review of ERISA requirements. Employers are cautioned, moreover, that ERISA is a very complex statute that has been amended virtually every year since its enactment and has been the subject of extensive, sometimes conflicting, analysis by the courts. Accordingly, employers are advised to consult with an attorney regarding ERISA questions or problems.

This chapter also briefly addresses the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and its implementing regulations (HIPAA) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which impose obligations on employer-sponsored group health plans. For a more detailed discussion...

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