“I lived with severe heart failure for years,” Mark says. “It culminated in April 2009, when I had both a heart and a kidney transplant. I had originally bought a policy that was signed on May 5, 1982, with Provident Insurance Company. I paid into it for 25 years, but never used it until I was 59 years old. It was not part of a company plan, it was an individual plan I purchased on my own.
“So the insurance company started paying my benefits after a 90-day waiting period. Because of my disability, I was immediately given social security disability. I had paid for social security supplemental but agreed that once I got social security, my monthly payments from the company would reduce to $2,900 a month. I was told I would have to substantiate that I was still disabled and would fill out paperwork every month.
“After three years, social security reexamines every disabled person. At that time, they recertified me as being permanently disabled. Unum now has no choice because social security’s recertification overrules whatever doctor they would have me see.
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“After I got read that my benefits would run out after my 65th birthday, I went to my agent. I was sent a letter December 13, 2012, that states I started receiving total disability on March 19, 2009, and the maximum benefit period is following my 65th birthday. This is different than the Provident addendum.
“I’m not a contract expert, but I think they’re reading the contract just the way they want to read it. If I could get $2,900 for 48 months, that’s a lot of money. The original policy did mention age 65, but the addendum for policyholders over the age of 55 - the way I read it - changed that to 10 years after the benefits began. So it’s confusing.”