Rush Prudential HMO, Inc. v. Moran, 536 U.S. 355, 21 (2002)

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Cite as: 536 U. S. 355 (2002)

Opinion of the Court

That factor requires the targets of the law to be limited to entities within the insurance industry, and even a matchmaking HMO would fall within the insurance industry. But the implausibility of Rush's hypothesis that the pure administrator would be bound by 4-10 obviates any need to say more under this third factor. Cf. Barnett Bank of Marion Cty., N. A. v. Nelson, 517 U. S. 25, 39 (1996) (holding that a federal statute permitting banks to act as agents of insurance companies, although not insurers themselves, was a statute regulating the "business of insurance" for McCarran-Ferguson purposes).


Given that 4-10 regulates insurance, ERISA's mandate that "nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to exempt or relieve any person from any law of any State which regulates insurance," 29 U. S. C. 1144(b)(2)(A), ostensibly forecloses preemption. See Metropolitan Life, 471 U. S., at 746 ("If a state law 'regulates insurance,' . . . it is not preempted"). Rush, however, does not give up. It argues for preemption anyway, emphasizing that the question is ultimately one of congressional intent, which sometimes is so clear that it overrides a statutory provision designed to save state law from being preempted. See American Telephone & Telegraph Co. v. Central Office Telephone, Inc., 524 U. S. 214, 227 (1998) (AT&T) (clause in Communications Act of 1934 purporting to save "the remedies now existing at common law or by statute," 47 U. S. C. 414 (1994 ed.), defeated by overriding policy of the filed-rate doctrine); Adams Express Co. v. Croninger, 226 U. S. 491, 507 (1913) (saving clause will not sanction state laws that would nullify policy expressed in federal statute; "the act cannot be said to destroy itself" (internal quotation marks omitted)).

In ERISA law, we have recognized one example of this sort of overpowering federal policy in the civil enforcement provisions, 29 U. S. C. 1132(a), authorizing civil actions for


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