SPOTLIGHT: Providers fight self-insured plans for payments

Increasingly, self-insured insurance plans offered by large employers and labor unions have become a worry for employers, who say that these plans aren't paying their claims in a reasonable amount of time. While insurance companies must contend with state regulators if they're too tardy in settling claims, self-insured plans are regulated by federal ERISA rules, which give them a great deal of leeway. And the number of workers covered by self-funded plans has risen sharply in recent times from, 44 percent in 1999 to 55 percent to 2007, making this an increasingly important concern for physicians and hospitals. Article

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