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March 03, 2021 Profile

Health, Life and Disability Insurance Committee

Adam H. Garner, Heather Karrh, Nicole True, and Rebecca Bryant

After discussing the issue for years, the TIPS Health and Disability Insurance Law and Life Insurance Law Committees are merging as of the beginning of the 2021–2022 ABA bar year. Intellectually, the merger makes sense due to ERISA largely controlling all three types of insurance products and the fact that many committee members handle claims involving all three products.

The committees are comprised of some of the nation’s leading attorneys in health, disability, and life insurance law. Our committees consist of a diverse group of attorneys representing insureds, insurers, and those serving as in-house counsel. Each year, our collegial and engaging committees cosponsor continuing education courses that provide timely information from leading industry experts to our committee members. The courses include our signature event: the Midwinter Symposium on Insurance and Employee Benefits, which is also cosponsored by the TIPS Employee Benefits and Insurance Regulation Committees. The Midwinter Symposium is our only in-person annual event, although the committees conduct additional webinars and regular meetings by phone and video throughout the year.

The committees publish an electronic newsletter at least three times per year. We are always looking for additional content and contributions. If you would like to submit an article or assist with the newsletter’s creation, please contact our newsletter vice-chair, Daniel Thiel, at [email protected]. In addition, our committees publish and our members edit and contribute to two of the leading treatises on ERISA and insurance rescissions: ERISA Survey of Federal Circuits and Misrepresentation in the Life, Health, and Disability Insurance Application Process: A National Survey.

Our committees are generally responsive and supportive of one another and provide valuable networking opportunities to our members. As we work toward merging our operations, the combined committee will reduce its leadership ranks somewhat to reduce duplication of efforts. Currently, the chairs of the merging committees are Adam H. Garner and Heather Karrh. Next year, Rebecca Bryant will serve as the combined committee’s chair, and Nicole True will serve as the chair-elect. Both Rebecca and Nicole serve as the unmerged committees’ chair-elect. In addition, we will be forming an enhanced membership committee and a diversity committee in order to grow our ranks in a way that is inclusive and that brings new members into TIPS and the committee.

If you are interested in joining or taking a more active role in our Health, Life and Disability Insurance Committee, please contact Adam Garner ([email protected]), Heather Karrh ([email protected]), Nicole True ([email protected]), or Rebecca Bryant ([email protected]).

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Adam H. Garner is the founder of The Garner Firm, Ltd., where he represents employee benefit plan participants and their dependents in all facets of ERISA and employee benefits litigation as well as insureds in disability, life insurance, and bad faith litigation.

Heather Karrh is a partner at Rogers, Hofrichter & Karrh LLC, where she represents plaintiffs in life, health, and disability cases.

Nicole True is of counsel in Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie’s litigation practice group; her practice focuses on defending insurance coverage decisions.

Rebecca Bryant is an associate with Seyfarth Shaw LLP, where she represents plan sponsors, plans, fiduciaries, claim administrators, and insurance companies in a variety of litigation.