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US Supreme Court ruling on HMOs, health plans

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court Wednesday handed down a unanimous ruling in Kentucky Association of Health Plans, Inc. v. Miller [decision syllabus], holding that Kentucky's "Any Willing Provider" health insurance statutes saying, inter alia, that "A health insurer shall not discriminate against any provider who is located within the geographical coverage area of the health benefit plan and who is willing to meet the terms and conditions for participation established by the health insurer..." are not pre-empted by terms of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which pre-empts all state laws "insofar as they … relate to any employee benefit plan," 29 U.S.C. § 1144(a), but saves from pre-emption state "law[s] … which regulat[e] insurance … ," s.1144(b)(2)(A). Justice Scalia wrote the Opinion [text]. For background, see HMOs watching 'any willing provider' case in courts, from the January 31, 2003 edition of the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

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