Health Care Serv. Corp. v. Methodist Hospitals, No. 15-10154 (5th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Chapter 1301 of the Texas Insurance Code requires healthcare insurers to make coverage determinations and pay claims made by preferred healthcare providers within a specified time or face penalties. HCSC filed suit seeking a declaratory judgment against Methodist, seeking a declaration that Chapter 1301 does not apply to HCSC as the administrator of particular health plans, and the Federal Employee Health Benefits Act of 1959 (FEHBA), 5 U.S.C. 8901, et seq., preempts application of the statute to its administration of claims under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). The district court granted summary judgment to HCSC. The court held that Chapter 1301 is not applicable to BCBSTX’s activities as administrator of the self-funded plans or state government plans, nor to those activities that it performs as administrator of claims under the BlueCard program. The court also held that FEHBA preempts Chapter 1301’s application to the claims processed by BCBSTX under FEHBP plans. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.