June 5, 2009, Newsletter Issue #182: Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs)

Tip of the Week

An SPD, or summary plan description, is your group health insurance plan administrator's description of your legal rights under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ERISA is the federal law that protects your health benefits. Your company's SPD should include information about coverage for your dependents, co-pays, as well as when and under what circumstances your employer can cancel your health insurance.

You should receive a copy of your company's SPD each year in your benefits package as part of your group health insurance quote. Save it and any memos, letters, or e-mails (print these out) that relate to the SPD. If you cannot locate your SPD, ask your human resources department for a copy.

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