Kathleen Dixon RN, NP of Hayward CA:
"I started working in the emergency ward at Kaiser Hospital in 1979. When I applied for a $5,000 insurance policy from UnumProvident, someone from the insurance company came to my work and took tests to make sure I qualified. I peed in a cup and had blood tests etc. Then I was sent a letter from the insurance company stating that if I was ever out of work, I would receive my $5,000.
I fell at work in 1993 and had really bad back pain but I continued to work until August 1994. At the time I didn't have any x-rays, but I finally ended up going to a neurosurgeon and had three herniated discs in my back. After 18 months of pain I had surgery - my neck was fused and I was off work for four months. I used up all my vacation time and sick days so I would have enough money to live on. Then I attempted to go back to work but I only lasted a few months and part time at that. I had to undergo another surgery in 1995 and never returned to work.
My social security disability started June 1995 and I had my $5,000 UnumProvident insurance policy which was supposed to pay $80 per month for five years. When social security told me I was unemployable I applied to the insurer. They refused me right away and said I may be disabled but I could feasibly return to work in a few years, therefore I was not considered permanently disabled.
I applied for my benefits every year until 1998. Finally I just gave up; I guess this is their intention. It was obvious they weren't going to pay me a penny. I bought this policy and I haven't worked in 11 years. I am broke and could sure use the money - I had to file bankruptcy in December, 1999.
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It is really bad here. In 2004, 'The Terminator' signed a senate bill - SB899 - that denied the future medical benefits award to injured workers. On April 19, 2004 I was sent a letter saying that I didn't even have a doctor anymore, and I have to go for another operation soon.
UnumProvident seems to be lying to a lot of people. I sure feel sorry for people who purchased larger insurance policies. "