Fleisher v. Std. Ins. Co.

While working as a dentist, Fleisher obtained long-term disability insurance coverage under separate policies. He obtained the North American policy by membership in a professional organization. The Standard policy is an employee benefit, governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C. 1132(a)(1)(B) and provides for monthly benefits to a maximum of “$10,000 before reduction by Deductible Income,” defined to include “[a]ny amount you receive or are eligible to receive because of your disability under another group insurance coverage,” but to exclude benefits paid under “any individual disability insurance policy.” In 2008, Fleisher became disabled and claimed benefits under both policies. Shortly after Fleisher began collecting under both policies, Standard reduced his monthly benefits from $10,000 to $8,500 based on its determination that the North American policy was another group insurance coverage, and that the $1,500 in benefits he receives under it is deductible income. The district court dismissed his ERISA suit. The Third Circuit affirmed, finding the decision supported by substantial evidence and not unreasonable.

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