Even though her physician sent her complete medical records and all the documentation requested by the insurer, Unum used a litany of tactics to deny Jody’s short-term claim. And she thinks they are going to use the same tactics with her long-term claim.
“I got my first term disability check in January 2013, and each month they called - checking on me, asking how I was feeling,” says Jody. “My last check was at the end of March, even though I was approved for LTD. Unum has called several times since March, asking when I would be returning to work.”
Jody has her Unum insurance through her employer. They know she cannot return to work. She suffers from, and has been diagnosed with, severe fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. On top of that she has the first stages of diabetes.
“Just this week, Unum called for yet another ‘update’ on how I feel, what my day is like, when I can return to work,” says Jody. “I replied to my Unum rep that my day is filled with pain and I am exhausted. And as you can imagine, that can be depressing. I also advised Unum that my doctor does not know when - if ever - I will return to work. Unum asked what I would like to happen. I told them I’d love to have a miracle cure, that I would like to get better, return to work, but I cannot say when or if that will happen. Truthfully, I just don’t know. Unum makes it sound like I wanted to get sick.
“After the runaround I received for short-term disability, I am afraid I am in for more of the same for the long-term benefits. My sister heard of the trouble Unum has given other policyholders and suggested I look up the information online. I was appalled at what I read - and I truly believe Unum is about to treat me the same, only ‘approving’ my claim a month or two at a time, to try to force me back to work. Already, their delays have cost me late fees in bills I had to pay. I am single and have to take care of myself - and yes, their delays have added to my stress. Quite frankly, now I have no medical insurance and I cannot afford to go to the doctor every month, which Unum seems to think I should. I have advised Unum I can no longer do that; instead I will be going to my doctor every three months.
“At this point, I believe I need an attorney. After reading so many horror stories about Unum, I just don’t think I can go through all their little games and tactics month after month.”
READ MORE UNUM LEGAL NEWS
Unum Group, Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. and MetLife Inc. are among the largest providers of long-term disability coverage through employers, according to data compiled by General Re, a reinsurer owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Hartford and Prudential Financial Inc., the second-largest U.S. life insurer, have each said they were adding new executives and raising rates after being burned in prior quarters with higher-than-expected claims cost.
Is it possible that there could be a disparity in the number of workers filing for LTD claims and the number of accepted claims?