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"Unum Is Like a Bernie Madoff Scheme"

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Glendale, CAHealth insurance providers—with the exception of Unum, or Unum Provident —recognize fibromyalgia as a condition that qualifies for disability benefits. Even though Kathryn is disabled, Unum says she isn't disabled enough! "I wouldn't be surprised if Unum was run by Bernie Madoff," said Kathryn.

"I first applied for short term disability after my rheumatologist diagnosed me with fibromyalgia," said Kathryn. "I didn't know what was wrong with me; I thought I just had the flu, but by February 2009, I couldn't deal with the pain any longer." Four years ago Kathryn contracted mononucleosis, which led to her diagnosis of fibromyalgia, a debilitating medical condition with a specific cause or causes and recognizable signs and symptoms. It is recognized as complex chronic pain disorder by the health community, including the Mayo Clinic.

According to her secretary, Jeannie, (Kathryn doesn't exactly remember Unum's excuse for denial) Unum denied disability benefits because they needed more medical reports. "We gave them everything, then they denied Kathryn's appeal because she wasn't sufficiently 'disabled,'" said Jeannie. "I was shocked that she was denied—she was so ill and still is. This is absolutely ridiculous. Aren't brain surgeries enough evidence?"

Since Unum denied Kathryn's disability benefits, she has had two brain surgeries, and another is scheduled in two weeks. "Unum has a lot of nerve to deny my claim," Kathryn said. "It's not like I have a headache."

Interestingly, after Unum denied her claim, Kathryn applied for social security benefits and long-term disability benefits on another private policy she held through her company, an employment agency. "Social security and my other health insurance provider interviewed me, no medical examiner, no questions asked," she explained. She was immediately granted long-term disability benefits by both.

Jeannie said that Kathryn kept paying Unum's premiums, which amounted to about $200 per month over several years, even though she wasn't physically in the office. "Coincidentally, when she first applied for benefits, the premium increased by $30 per month. I asked Kathryn a few months ago why she was still paying for this policy. What was the point in paying after they denied her appeal?

"Even if Unum wouldn't recognize fibromyalgia as a disability, surely they couldn't deny Kathryn benefits after undergoing two brain surgeries. But they did.

"Unum said that Kathryn cannot open a claim based on her brain surgeries because she was not a pay-rolled employee anymore, and because she was on disability, but through another insurance company. But she owns the company and she was paying Unum premiums!"

About two months ago, Kathryn canceled her policy with Unum. "I told the upper management people at Unum that they are like a Bernie Madoff scheme," said Kathryn. "They take people's money and buy real estate; they have huge offices everywhere and here in Glendale they have one of the biggest high-rises in the city. Talk about conspicuous consumption…"

Kathryn is scheduled for a third brain surgery in a few weeks. "I have awful pressure headaches and it's just not fun at my age," she said (Kathryn is 56.) "My doctor said this happens usually to young children or old people, but because of the pressure, he has to replace my shunt—this is the third shunt he has tried. But my main problem is fibromyalgia—I'm in constant pain.

"I have spoken to upper management at Unum but their decision is final—even after the appeal, and even though they know I've had brain surgery. Unum is run by a bunch of crooks; they are Bernie Madoff under a corporate umbrella."

One of Unum's denial tactics includes refusing to acknowledge certain disabilities, especially mental disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Unum (formerly known as Unum Provident and First Unum) has systematically denied Unum disability insurance to thousands of policy holders in the past two decades. Unum and its subsidiaries, including Provident Life, have settled numerous lawsuits for illegally refusing to pay valid disability claims. And they have a lot more to settle…


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Posted by

The UK government has been using UNUM as an advisor for it's welfare reforms....

Needless to say, they are not reforms, but theft of benefits paid to the weak, poor, vulnerable and disabled.
I believe our government welfare department, to be hand in glove with the wholly discredited crooks that purport to insure but put peoples lives at risk.

It is common knowledge that thousands of disabled have died as a result of UNUM influences.Indeed, the UK government stand accused of breaches of human rights of the disabled and abusing the right to a fair trial.

Claimants paid into a system called National Insurance to qualify for payments, the UK government is negating payments by using unqualified selected nurses working to a payment by results agenda to write fictitious medical reports that are used to deny payments.

So corrupt is the UK government, they are spending fortunes on hiding the mortality rates of those they robbed. this space as the outfall hits the proverbial fan....

Posted by

Unum just denied my appeal. I am still in disbelief. They play a good game, good cop, bad cop, keep you waiting only to deny. Even their letters of denial include contradictory statements that blow your mind. I have never dealt with such a dishonest company in all my 54 years.

Posted by

It isn't just in Britain that saming the insured is going on! It is happeing here in America!

Posted by

Carley makes no sense to me. Certainly I could agree on the Social Security side but see no correlation concerning two different insurance companies. It would be like paying two insurance companies for life (death) insurance and expecting only one of them to pay at the end.

Posted by

I have had fibromyalgia since Nov., 1998 and had to leave my job jan., 1999. I was a teacher and the demands of being a teacher were impossible for me to meet with fibromyalgia. I applied for disability benefits with Unum and began receiving benefits after the required six month waiting period. I had no problems with the company. I did have numerous medical professionals file reports on my behalf, that perhaps the above mentioned person did not have. I have a very severe case. It then took me three years to obtain Social Security Disability and I had to appear for a hearing, but after the hearing I was awarded Social Security Disability Benefits. UNUM subtracted the amount that I received from Social Security from the amount that I received from them.

I do not know the time frame in which the above mentioned dispute took place. I do know that Social Security put fibromyalgia on their list of disabilities in 1998 and I believe UNUM did the same about the same time. I am not trying to defend UNUM, just saying that I had a totally different experience. However, I can understand why UNUM would deny a claim when the claimant was already receiving benefits from Social Security and another private insurance company. That would be like "double dipping."

Posted by

In case you guys over there haven't heard about this yet, the British government hired in Unum as consultants in the 90s. They've now set up a scheme to deny benefits to disabled claimants in Britain. This is the British government itself I'm talking about, trying to weasel its way out of its committments the same way Unum does. Read more at

I think myself that there will be political careers ending when what's going on in Britain gets a wider audience, however, since the current government is largely made up of very rich tax-dodgers and the media is similarly owned by very rich tax dodgers, the issues are just getting no press at all in Britain, quite the reverse in fact. The disabled en masse are routinely portrayed as scroungers while tax-dodging by the very wealthy, a far greater drain on the British economy, barely gets a mention. At least in America you can apply to the authorities about injustice, over here, it's the authorities themselves that are actively perpetrating it.



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