Amy B. Monahan

  • Distinguished McKnight University Professor
  • The Melvin Steen & Corporate Donors Professor
N226 Mondale Hall


  • Johns Hopkins University, B.A.
  • Duke University, J.D.


  • Business Law
  • Employee Benefits
  • Federal Taxation
  • Health Insurance
  • Health Law

Professor Amy B. Monahan joined the Law School faculty in Fall 2009. She teaches and writes in the areas of federal taxation and employee benefits law. In 2013, she was awarded the American Law Institute's Young Scholars Medal in recognition of her work on both public pensions and health care reform, and its potential to influence improvements in the law. She held the Law School's Julius E. Davis Chair in 2013-14, and was named the law school's Stanley V. Kinyon Tenured Teacher of the Year in 2010-11. She was elected to membership in the American Law Institute in 2014.

Professor Monahan's scholarship focuses primarily on health and retirement plan regulation, and she has been actively involved in state and national efforts to improve the law in both areas. In 2010-11 she was appointed to the Institute of Medicine's Committee on the Determination of Essential Health Benefits, the independent committee charged with developing guidelines and principles for the Department of Health & Human Services to use in defining which medical treatments and services health insurance plans must cover as part of Affordable Care Act insurance reforms, and she has also advised various states regarding health care reform and implementation. Professor Monahan also frequently works with stakeholders at both the local and national level regarding the legal issues surrounding public pension plans, including state legislators, the State Budget Crisis Task Force, and the Federal Reserve Bank's municipal finance team.

Professor Monahan received her B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University in International Studies, with university and departmental honors. She received her J.D. from Duke University School of Law, where she was managing editor of the Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law. Following law school, she practiced with Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago.

She has previously taught at Notre Dame Law School and the University of Missouri School of Law.

Basic Federal Income Tax

Partnership Taxation

Employee Benefits


Journal Articles

ChatGPT Goes to Law School, 71 Journal of Legal Education 387 (2022)
Jonathan H. Choi
Rules of Medical Necessity, 107 Iowa Law Review 423 (2022)
A Public Option for Employer Health Plans, 20 Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law & Ethics 299 (2021)
Allison K. Hoffman
Howell E. Jackson
Two Cheers for the US Health Security Infrastructure, 82 Ohio State Law Journal 823 (2021)
State Individual Income Tax Conformity in Practice: Evidence from the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, 11 Columbia Journal of Tax Law 57 (2019)
The Regulatory Failure to Define Essential Health Benefits, 44 American Journal of Law & Medicine 529 (2018) 
When A Promise Is Not A Promise: Chicago-Style Pensions, 64 UCLA Law Review 356 (2017)  
A Partial Defense of the IRS as Health Care Agency, 7 Columbia Journal of Tax Law 123 (2016)
State Fiscal Constitutions and the Law and Politics of Public Pensions, 2015 University of Illinois Law Review 117 (2015)
An Affordable Care Act for Retirement Plans?, 20 Connecticut Insurance Law Journal 459 (2014)
Employers as Risks, 89 Chicago-Kent Law Review 751 (2014)
Who's Afraid of Good Governance? State Fiscal Crises, Public Pension Underfunding, and the Resistance to Governance Reform, 66 Florida Law Review 1317 (2014)
Thomas Fitzpatrick
Federal Regulation of State Pension Plans: The Governmental Plan Exemption Revisited, 28 ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law 291 (2013)
Renita K. Thukral
Limiting the ACA's Threats to Small Group Health Insurance Markets, 16 Risk Management and Insurance Review 25 (2013) (abridged version of Saving Small-Employer Health Insurance, 98 Iowa Law Review 1935 (2013))
Saving Small-Employer Health Insurance, 98 Iowa Law Review 1935 (2013)
Fairness Versus Welfare in Health Insurance Content Regulation, 2012 University of Illinois Law Review 139 (2012)
Statutes as Contracts? The "California Rule" and Its Impact on Public Pension Reform, 97 Iowa Law Review 1029 (2012)
Why Tax High-Cost Employer Health Plans?, 65 Tax Law Review 749 (2012)
On Subsidies and Mandates: A Regulatory Critique of ACA, 36 Journal of Corporation Law 781 (2011)
The ACA, the Large Group Market, and Content Regulation: What's a State To Do?, 5 Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy 83 (2011)
Will Employers Undermine Health Care Reform by Dumping Sick Employees?, 97 Virginia Law Review 125 (2011)
Initial Thoughts on Essential Health Benefits, 2010 New York University Review of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation 1B (2010)
Public Pension Plan Reform: The Legal Framework, 5 Education Finance and Policy 617 (2010)
Value-Based Mandated Health Benefits, 80 University of Colorado Law Review 127 (2009)
Health Insurance Risk Pooling and Social Solidarity: A Response to Professor David Hyman, 14 Connecticut Insurance Law Journal 325 (2008) (symposium)
Federalism, Federal Regulation, or Free Market? An Examination of Mandated Health Benefit Reform, 2007 University Illinois Law Review 1361 (2007)
Pay or Play Laws, ERISA Preemption, and Potential Lessons from Massachusetts, 55 University of Kansas Law Review 1203 (2007)
The Promise and Peril of Ownership Society Health Care Policy, 80 Tulane Law Review 777 (2006)
Addressing the Problem of Impatients, Impulsives and Other Imperfect Actors in 401(k) Plans, 23 Virginia Tax Review 471 (2004)
The Primacy of Democracy over Natural Law in Irish Abortion Law: An Examination of the C Case, 9 Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law 275 (1998) (note)

Book Chapters

Part 8: Deferred Compensation (chapters 59-64), in Boris Bittker & Lawrence Lokken, Federal Taxation of Income, Estates & Gifts (Thomson Reuters, 3d ed., 2010- ; revised 2021)
The Interactions between Public and Private Health Insurance, in The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Health Law (I. Glenn Cohen, Allison K. Hoffman & William M. Sage, eds., Oxford University Press, 2017)
The Law and Politics of Municipal Pensions, in Public Pensions and City Solvency (Susan M. Wachter, ed., University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016)
The Complex Relationship between Taxes and Health Insurance, in Beyond Economic Efficiency in United States Tax Law (David A. Brennen, Karen B. Brown & Darryll K. Jones, eds., Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2013)

Editorials, Commentary & Letters

Trimming Public Pensions Is Tricky: Did Legislators and Cities Intend Eternal Contracts?, Charleston Gazette & Daily Mail, June 26, 2012 (op-ed)

Other Publications

Freedom and Health Care, Jotwell (Oct, 2023)
Understanding (and Avoiding) Medicare Insolvency, Jotwell (Sept. 2022)
Addressing and Avoiding Severe Fiscal Stress in Public Pension Plans (Urban Institute, 2022) (research report)
Andrew Biggs
Don Boyd
Josh B. McGee
Understanding the Competitive Effects of a Public Option, Jotwell (June 2021)
The Profit-Maximizing Wellness Plan? Results from the First Comprehensive Randomized Controlled Trial of an Employer Wellness Program, Jotwell (Sept. 2020) 
The Costs of Market Allegiance in Health Care, Jotwell (June 2019)
Inviolable — or Not: The Legal Status of Retiree Medical Benefits for State and Local Employees (Manhattan Institute, 2016)
Section 125 Plans For Individual Insurance and HIPAA's Group Insurance Provisions (SHADAC, 2009) (HIPAA 125 Policy Brief)
Mark A. Hall
The Case for Federalizing Mandated Health Benefits, 32 Administrative & Regulatory Law News 2 (Spring 2007)