This article has been published in “The Advocate”, a monthly publication of the Arizona Association for Justice/Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, May-June 2015 issue, @2015 by Steven J. Bruzonsky, Esq.
May/June 2015 Lien Updates
FEHBA Liens – Status of Kobold Case:
In Kobold v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., No. 1 CA-CV 12-0315. 2013 Ariz. App. LEXIS 187 (Ariz. Ct. App. Sept. 5, 2013), the Arizona Court of Appeals issued a ruling that the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act does not preempt Arizona’s state anti-reimbursement laws. Aetna filed a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court on June 20, 2014. On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court took the unusual step of inviting the Solicitor General to file a brief expressing the views of the United States government on whether certiorari should be granted or denied. See Aetna Life Insurance Company v. Kobold, No. 13-1467 (U.S. Oct. 6, 2014). It is anticipated that in the early Spring of 2015, the Solicitor General will be filing a brief advising acceptance or denial of certiorari.
Note that theMissouri Supreme Court adopted Kobold's reasoning and similarly invalidated FEHBA liens in Missouri. Nevils v. Group Health Plan, Inc., 418 S.W.3d 451, 455+ (Mo. 2014), pet. for writ of cert. filed, 82 USLW 3662 (Docket No. 13-1305) (April 28, 2014).