Lawmakers in Washington D.C. created the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to direct the design and operation of retirement plans for private-sector employees. ERISA does not apply to retirement plans operated for employees of government agencies, and workers at Indian tribal governments largely fall into the non-ERISA category. An amendment to the act in 2006 altered this landscape for plan sponsors at Indian tribal governments and granted ERISA protections to workers employed within tribal commercial enterprises.
One federal court decision could affect the way that health insurance benefits treat employee mental health claims in Washington, D.C., and across the country. In the case of Wit v. United Behavioral Health (UBH), a managed health care company was found responsible for denying tens of thousands of workers' insurance claims for mental health or substance abuse treatments. UBH oversees behavioral health services for a number of health insurance companies, including UnitedHealthcare.