Published June, 2008
Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Glenn, 554 U.S. __ , 128 S.Ct. 2343 (2008)
In a 6 to 3 decision of potential impact for people with HIV, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that courts must examine benefit denials by insurance companies carefully when circumstances indicate that the company’s financial considerations may have affected a benefits decision. The ruling recognizes that the apparent conflict of interest created when an insurance company is both the reviewer and payer of claims is one of many factors to consider, and offers guidance to federal judges reviewing medical disability and health insurance determinations in group policies. Although the plaintiff in this case was not HIV-positive, she suffered from severe fatigue, a condition that many people with advanced HIV disease frequently experience.
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