In 1989, The US Supreme Court declared that if ERISA plans contain language giving plan fiduciaries discretion to interpret the terms of the plans and to make benefit determinations, courts will generally yield to that discretion. As a result of this discretion, insurance companies were able to deny claims and there was very little that courts could do to reverse the decision of an insurance company. Throughout the past several years, many states have passed laws to ban discretionary clauses and the insurance industry has been fighting to keep the discretionary clauses.

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