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More Unum Tales of Woe

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Macon, GAThere are various insurance companies that provide short-term and long-term disability coverage. And as is the case with any business sector, some provide better service than others. Case in point: Unum insurance claimants continue to complain about the stall tactics that Unum (formerly Unum Provident) uses to delay the payment of much-needed funds.


Tamblyn of Macon, Georgia submitted a post to insurance advocate Linda Nee's blog in June, observing that her relationship with Unum was a far cry from past experience with Met Life, which at one time provided both long- and short-term disability coverage through her employer. Then, in 2009, her employer changed to Unum.

Under Unum, employees had to choose between short-term or long-term disability (LTD) coverage. With Met Life, employees could opt for both. Tamblyn, who had previously been diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, opted for LTD.

Complicating Tamblyn's health and lifestyle is the need for monthly IVIG infusions and periodic steroid infusions. The combined procedures keep her out of work for several days each month.

Macon, GA: There are various companies that provide life insurance, as well as short-term and long-term disability coverage. And as is the case with any business sector, there are some who provide better service than others. However, in the case of Unum complaints continue to be heard about the performance of Unum insurance, and alleged delay tactics that appear to work in the company's favor by delaying the payment of much-needed funds to claimants.

Tamblyn, submitting a post to insurance advocate Linda Nee's blog in June, observed that her relationship with Unum was a departure from her previous experience with Met Life, which provided both long and short-term disability coverage at one time through her employer.

Then, in 2009 her employer changed to Unum.

Tamblyn, of Macon, Georgia, writes that it was her understanding that with Unum employees had to choose between short-term or long-term disability (LTD) coverage. She recollected that with Met Life, employees could opt for both. Tamblyn, who had previously been diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, opted for LTD.

Complicating Tamblyn's health and lifestyle is the need for monthly IVIG infusions and periodic steroid infusions. The combined procedures keep her out of work for several days each month.

Tamblyn notes that she had never submitted a claim to Unum, even in view of her monthly procedures (which are done at home via home health care). Only when she was hospitalized on two separate occasions in September and October of last year did she submit a claim.

But her claim was denied. Unum informed her that because she was not off work for 90 consecutive days, and because she returned to work full-time, her claim would not be paid. Home health care would also not be paid because she was working full-time.

Tamblyn writes that an open enrollment opportunity at her company allowed her to lower her elimination period from 90 days to 30 days, which would begin at the start of any period of hospitalization.

It is not clear if Tamblyn fully understood her policy or took the time to read the fine print and become fully versed with the benefits and limitations of her coverage.

Nonetheless, it appears to be a difficult road for Tamblyn, who notes that she works to support her children in spite of her health issues.

"I've been hospitalized for more than 25 days in the last year with disability insurance and I cannot receive payment," Tamblyn writes. "Something doesn't feel right. I am consulting a lawyer at this time. I was too tired and weak to fight for it in October. It was the first time in three years I had been late on credit card payments."

The Paperwork Shuffle

Rachelle, of Martinsburg, West Virginia is yet another disgruntled Unum client who takes issue with the company's alleged delay tactics. Rachelle writes that she had been off work for more than three months without any payment (or even acknowledgment of her qualification for benefits) because of various delays.

Unum claimed that it had not received medical faxes from Rachelle's doctor—although according to the physician's office, the faxes had been sent in a timely fashion.

"I just recently recieved (sic) yet another set of papers for my doctor to fill out and they were dated May 25th, but yet I didn't recieve them until June 7th," she writes, indicating that the material carried a due date of June 12th. "I called on June 11th and told them I was unable to have them turned in by June 12th because I had yet to have a recent doctors visit. The woman I spoke with told me it was no problem, 'turn them in as soon as possible and I will make note of it.'

"I recieved a letter on June 16th stating that my leave was denied because the paperwork was not turned in."

Rachelle notes that one of the reasons why she is off work is due to anxiety. It's a sad fact that attempting to deal with Unum disability is making her anxiety even worse.

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