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Archive for the ‘Complaints’ Category

Elena of Cumming, GA  Original review: May 29, 2018

Run for your life. Seriously. So I needed a deep cleaning to prevent gum disease. My gums were clearly receding, my teeth clearly needed more than just a regular cleaning. Frankly, I’ve finally found a great dentist who cares about the long term health of my teeth. Wish I could say the same about the insurance. I had UNUM through my employer (yes, had, because they dropped that nightmare of insurance this year and switched to something else). My dentist estimated the expense of the procedure, and I paid my part. Everything was great, my gums and teeth looked and felt fantastic. But then UNUM decided that based on the X-Rays my tooth decay wasn’t sufficient enough for a deep cleaning. Literally. So they declined to pay their part. My dentist has to re-submit everything over and over, but still the result was the same: “not enough of decay”. Really? What is “enough”? Teeth falling out? Deep cleaning is supposed to prevent that.

This is not only frustrating, but also plain stupid: I’ve prevented a way larger claim. Would you rather have a claim for gum disease treatment or root canal work? I don’t think so. Today I received that final bill. They refused to pay what they were supposed to… it has been 2 years of negotiations between UNUM and my dental office (by the way, all IN NETWORK). If you are looking for a personal coverage – don’t consider UNUM. If you are an employer, please do your employees a favor and look for a better insurance provider. As I mentioned, my employer dropped them this year. Best decision ever.

(What in the world is Unum doing involved in Dental insurance? Sounds to me as though a Group Dental Rider on an employer’s LTD Plan is subject to ERISA and the same appeal rules apply. I have said many times on the blog that Unum’s “other insurance riders” such as Accident, Critical Illness and Dental are a waste of good money. If Unum cannot administer group STD/LTD fairly, why would it be assumed the company would be better for indemnity type coverages? The employer did the right thing here by looking for employee coverage elsewhere.)

Charles of Alhambra, IL  Original review: May 24, 2018

I was originally on FMLA due to a medical condition and was scheduled to return to work on May 13th. My doctor subsequently extended my return to work by 6 weeks. Unum was very difficult to work with and took over three weeks to issue payment on the first part of my absence. Despite providing the necessary information for my extension prior to May 13th they have not issued a payment for the second portion of my absence. I have repeatedly been told they have 5 days to do this and 5 days to do that. Despite having received the last information they requested 5 days ago I was just told they need more time to evaluate my situation. I purchased this insurance through my employer. Unfortunately this is the only choice I have.

(Short term disability should be short term right? STD policies have 0-7 days Elimination Periods and therefore STD decisions need to be made in a timely way. Afterall, if the STD Plan has a 7 day EP, benefits are due on the eighth day. Unum’s STD review process has  been sliding downhill for the last year or so. First, Unum was handing off legitimate STD claims to Workers’ Comp with falloneous allegations that all “sickness” was work related. Now, the process seems to be chaotic, untimely, barely keeping up with the numbers of new claims submitted. Unfortunately, what Charles describes here is Unum’s normal STD inefficiency.)

 

Gayle of Wayland, MA  Original review: May 1, 2018

I am an Accounts Payable Administrator and am responsible for scheduling payment for our disability invoices that we receive from UNUM. These invoices always arrive late compared to our other insurance companies, calls are barely returned and come days later. Their e-mail system is extremely user unfriendly. I have spoken to two representatives and in both situations have found them to be rude and unprofessional. Our subscribers have complained of poor treatment and wait time for claims. Thank goodness there are many more options for employers to choose alternative disability insurance with a company that will provide better customer service.

(Amen. The theme with Unum these days is inefficiency, chaos, rudeness and outright  unprofessional behavior. This is in addition to unfair claims practices and bad faith. Unum can’t function without its group LTD products. Employers should exercise grave care when buying on with Unum in any fashion.)

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ComplaintsJason of Lacombe, LA  

Original review: March 28, 2018

I’ve never taken off from work under FMLA until my mother was placed into hospice care after fighting Stage IV metastatic cancer for over 5 years. I was immobilized with grief and anxiety throughout the entire process of helplessly waiting for her to die. Unum is still “processing” my claim! I’m about to return to work next week and they still haven’t decided to pay me or not. No one should be expected to go through all of this at a time when they’re unable to cope with anything. Even getting out of bed has been a struggle. My employer has been 100% supportive but this insurance company is ridiculous!

(Unum is having an extremely hard time doing anything in a timely way. The company is spread out into many locations and rarely does the left hand know what the right hand is doing. STD seems to be hardest hit by Unum’s disorganization and inability to process claims. I’ve been hearing from STD claimants that Unum is extremely untimely in making decisions. This indicates Unum’s management has lost control of the claims process, again not surprising since Unum is spreading the company so thin with third-party contacts and reviewers.)

Nicole of San Jose, NM  

Original review: March 26, 2018

This is the worst insurance company I’ve dealt with my entire life. I had emergency surgery and filed my claim (short-term disability) a week before, they still haven’t fixed their mess! My surgery was 2/19, they placed me “back to work” 3/2. I am not cleared until 4/2 and they keep giving me the runaround! Just because you can’t work, doesn’t mean your bills stop!

(First of all, Unum can’t place anyone back to work. The company may still be using MDA to determine return to work dates, but as long as your physician continues to certify “total disability” Unum can’t arbitrarily say “you’re done with disability and back to work.” As above, Unum STD is terrible. What claimants can try is filing a complaint with employers with a request for assist. This should get Unum to move more efficiently, if that’s possible anymore.)

Original review: March 7, 2018

I have paid for Unum long-term disability insurance for 6 years. I recently filed benefits. Was denied because they have a 180 day limit of which you have to file in. This was not in place when policy was purchased. They suck.

(Don’t get this one. I think the claimant may have misunderstood the 180-day Elimination Period. In order to receive benefits, claimants would need to be unable to work for 180 days before receiving benefits. Benefits would be due on the 181st day. There is a limit in every ERISA Plan about the timing of filing for disability, but it’s not 180 days. I think this claimant is referring to the 180-day Elimination Period which he may not have met.)

Merry of Rockford, MI  

Original review: March 6, 2018

My rep on my insurance claim never calls me back. Cannot find out anything about my claim. Cannot get on to the website. The website is so poorly done I could not even register to find out about my claim. I’m so frustrated with this whole company is unreal. You can’t even get ahold of the operator ’cause she’s always busy and you get cut off. You cannot get ahold of this company. It’s horrible. And when you’re sick and, or recovering from a major surgery who wants to deal with this.

(I defer to the article I just wrote about Unum’s “remote” customer service people, located all over the company.  Customer service used to be considered a priority at Unum, but not any longer. Unfortunately, Unum has become more like Met Life in that you have to raise the dead in order to find a live body to speak to. The company is extremely inefficient and neglectful.)
Nat of McDonough, GA Verified  

Original review: March 1, 2018

They are very hostile if you extend the FMLA. In the beginning they were quite cordial however once I had to extend the FMLA per doctor’s orders, I received a quite hostile phone call. I was asked in a stern and accusatory voice: “What is the hold up for going to work?” “What is wrong?’ “Has your doctor changed your medication then since you are incapable of going to work?” “But you are able to take care of your child, clean around the home and go to the grocery store right?”I felt accused and accosted in a corner. I felt like I had done something wrong. I have worked 20 years and have never taken FMLA. I was taken aback and disgusted by the UNUM customer service.

(Welcome to the new Unum where customer service reps are insulting and are told to lie to insureds and claimants. The questions asked are, of course, inappropriate. These issues can be immediately solved by requesting all communications from Unum in writing – NOT from the website portal mind you, but by mail. It’s a lot harder to be insulting in a letter. Don’t put up with it, and request all communications in writing.)

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Rochelle of South Park, PA  

 Dec. 16, 2017

I have a very rare disease called desmoid tumor. It’s like cancer but does not spread throughout the body but recurs aggressively. I have had 2 surgeries since 8/21/17. Just had my last one Dec 11/17. I was off for 7 wks and did not receive a pay check. I call everyday. They always have a different story. I was in Hospital and just got out 12/13/17. I called them because still no money. After being admitted and drainage tubes and my spine being operated on still no money. My pcp fills everything out numerous times. I told Chole ** that and no sooner I hung up the phone I looked at my app for Unum and she closed my claim. I’m stuck with this disease and my child gets nothing for Xmas not to mention I’m backed up on bills and don’t get me started on my medical bills. WORSE COMPANY EVER!!!!

(I often wonder if readers actually believe what I write about the unfairness of Unum and many other disability insurers. This is why I include these true case studies on Lindanee’s Blog. Despite anything I could possibly write about this company, it is very sad when one realizes the financial hardship and family devastation denying claims unfairly causes. Of course there is a societal toll that is paid by every American who relies on Group STD/LTD insurance for financial assistance. For Rochelle, Unum STD wasn’t much help.

DCS, Inc. always recommended “planning” to counter the effects of denied claims. Now that Americans will be enjoying more of their earned money, more than ever, employees need to obtain copies of their Plan and plan for the future in other ways. What will happen to me if Unum denies my claim? What other income will I have to support myself and my family? Group STD/LTD (particularly Unum and Prudential) are not to be depended on for future financial security.)

Kenneth of Mill Valley, CA  

Nov. 30, 2017

By NOT allowing individuals to cancel the policy during open enrollment, via online enrollment sites (like Benetrac), and forcing subscribers to “call” Unum (so no documentation exists) – you’re trying to scam individuals into not being able to cancel their policies. I’m cancelling because the customer service was DIFFICULT at best – making it extremely hard to file a ‘valid’ claim – this is NOT an insurance company I want to deal with on ANY policy. AIG, State Farm & Amica are all SUPERIOR at customer service, therefore, they will get my life insurance, accident insurance and anything else I can eliminate from Unum. Sad Company…

(Oops. To begin, when you call Unum there is a written record of the call on Navilink, Unum’s diary system. You should be able to cancel your coverage at the annual enrollment period by filling out a form dropping out of the Plan. Employers need to have, 50-75 percent participation in order to have group insurance and therefore they need to keep an eye on how many employees are dropping out. Secondly, AIG and State Farm may have great customer service but their claims paying rates are very low. The only accurate comments here are that Unum is indeed a “Sad Company.”)

O. B. of Laguna Woods, CA  

Oct. 22, 2017

I bought Unum short-term disability insurance through my company 2 years ago. I needed my breast implants removed due to capsular contraction/scar formation (which is eligible for insurance coverage). After my application was processed, I went online to see that my case has been closed with a $6000 benefit, I was on disability for a total of 6 weeks with a 14-day eligibility period. I called to ask when the benefits will be mailed. The agent stated, yes, I qualified for benefits but no $ will be issued to me. They are ‘actually managing my disability leave with my company’. How can a monetary amount be assigned to my case and no $ sent to me?

(Depending on the employee benefit package offered by your employer, it is possible that there is some sort of payback that is due to your employer. My suggestion would be to call HR and have someone explain why your benefit is going to your employer. Then get it in writing.)

 

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Colette of Moultrie, GA on
I established Unum Insurance through my employer in 2008-2011 and the both of them are very unethical. I enrolled in short-term disability insurance as well as long-term disability insurance paying into the program for numerous of years and suffered an injury that I still have until this day. I was injured at work and this company gave me the run around about my insurance until the day I was wrongfully terminated. I asked for reimbursement and they refused. They are deceitful and in the business of making money off their consumers.
(I wonder whether this claimant understood that Unum’s STD Plans do not pay for work injury covered by Worker’s Compensation. While I’m sure that Unum does not function fairly or works to PAY claims rather than deny, STD is generally not paid to employees injured at work. In fact, Unum has been handing off other disabilities as Worker’s Comp when in fact the disabilities aren’t work injuries at all! Inside information provided confirms that Unum’s STD reviews are slanted for the purpose of denying most of them.)
Bethany of Southside, AL on
They have every reason under the Sun to not pay my claim, I have received the run around. They are heartless. They do not want to pay no matter what. My surgeon and my PCP sent in all documentation to support my absence for a month, with it being an emergency surgery. No preexisting condition or anything that my policy wouldn’t cover and Unum still keeps coming up with ridiculous reasons not to pay when it’s obvious I could not work which was most certainly clear. No food on the table, had every reason to receive money from a company I have paid into every week. They do not care.
(This post really says it all doesn’t it? Unum has a very poor public reputation in both the US and Great Britain. Middle class ERISA employees have less than a 50% chance of having a Unum paid claim. The bare truth is, Unum STD/LTD coverage does not provide employees with any kind of financial security and should not be depended on long-term.)
Michael of Somersworth, NH on
Unum yet again has wrongfully deprived another sick/injured person of their disability insurance. I have 3 specialist physicians ALL stating my need for disability and yet Unum has wrongfully denied this based on their part-time primary care doctors evaluation. On top of this, there have been 3 employees including a supervisor and contracted physician that have blatantly lied (on a recorded line) about physicians letters claiming my ability to return to work when in fact none exist. The contracted physician created a written statement claiming that one of my specialist physicians stated that “pt is ready to return to occupation at full-time.” This never happened and infuriated my physician so much that he wrote a strongly worded letter back to Unum and the contracted physician correcting their lies. In my opinion, never trust anything an Unum employee tells you and NEVER pay for any services that Unum has to offer.
(I don’t know how many times I’ve written on the Blog that Unum doesn’t tell the truth. Yet, insureds seem to want to believe what they are told by the claims handlers. The truth is, Unum reps (and their Directors) misrepresent medical records for the purpose of denying more claims. And, it does make treating physicians furious. The problem is that Unum doesn’t care that the physician “wrote a rebuttal letter”; once the company has its mind make up it rarely changes even when they are clearly wrong. Employers need to do their homework and research Unum’s payment history for group STD/LTD. Once they do, most employers should refuse to do business with Unum unless they have a full service agreement guaranteeing certain levels of payment and customer service.)
Marie of Winston-Salem, NC on
My doctor put me off work for 3 weeks because of heart palpitations and the stress of my job. I was also put on blood pressure medication but we could not get it down. The claims expert informed me that I was not sick enough to stay off work. I asked him, “should I have ignored my doctor’s request and gone to work?” He could not answer, but he did say that everyone gets stressed at work, but it should not have kept me off work. REALLY!!? Why am I paying into this plan?!! THIS IS CRAZY! I was waiting on this money to pay my bills. REALLY!??
(This is a very common Unum complaint. There are two things Unum never accepts as cause for disability: 1) stress and 2) inability to drive. Unum’s internal policy regarding stress is that “everybody has work stress” and it isn’t a cause for disability. Also, Unum discounts reports of inability to drive except for “blindness”. This claims handler overstepped his boundary since it’s not up to Unum’s reps to to say someone can or cannot work. Unum’s reps are making more and more value judgments these days and that’s why DCS, Inc. recommends communications in writing only.)

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Joanna of Villa Park, IL on

While paying into the short-term disability program for about six years I unfortunately had a tonic conic seizure for the first time in my life due to stress. I was on bed rest for 3 weeks, could not move a muscle, was in pain medication (which makes it impossible to communicate with my staff or customers when it’s strong and makes you sleep all day, had to be supervised 24:7 by family, supervised showers and my mother had to do regular bedside assistance for me to ensure I don’t harm myself nor anyone else before my doctors put me on proper medication to figuring out what causes it.

The last week of April I was adjusting to the new medication due to its side effects making it impossible for me to work. I was looking for one month of pay from UNUM since that’s what I have been paying into and they originally send me one week worth’s pay. When I called in to check in the woman told me that she originally approved it but her manager went in to the system and ended up denying my claim stating I could have worked from home.

I immediately sent in an appeal with additional information from my doctor stating that working from home was revoked due to the amount of stress I encounter in my position. My neuro and regular doctor wanted to make sure I was not adding any other factors into my rehabilitation and wanted to make sure I was on proper medication before I returned to my job. Even after spelling it out for them and for them to disagree with a professional doctor is beyond disbelief! I have electroisa in my frontal lobe that are misfiring causing the seizure. Sounds like a disability to me but apparently UNUM thinks it was perfectly fine for me to go back to work the next day. Waste of money! This company is simply heartless. BTW they are also requesting that I pay back the original weeks worth of pay they sent me.

(This is an excellent case since it points out several important things claimants should know. First, Unum’s managers are still “validating” claim decisions that the DBS’ make. This reduces claims specialists to no more than glorified Administrative Assistants at the bottom rung of the gopher ladder. Any claims manager, at any time, can over rule a decision to pay. Secondly, Unum’s allegation of work capacity to work at home is an unfair claims practice since most employers do not approve of working at home, or in fact certain jobs cannot be performed at home.

Unum is also remiss in demanding a refund of benefit since the company did make a legitimate decision based on information provided at the time to pay. No insurance company has the right to make a claims decision and then change its mind because it needs to add to profit in a particular time period. This claimant has it right, “Unum is beyond belief!”)

Rachael of Irving, TX on
 

I worked for CVS health starting 4/4/2016. In July of 2016 my benefits kicked in along with the short-term disability which was taken out each pay period twice a month. Well I had surgery 3/22/2017. I was on leave of absence for 5 weeks starting 3/22/2017 and returning to work on 4/26/2017. I expected to get pay from my PTO/vacation time from CVS that I had accumulated during my leave. I did not receive any communication from Unum so I was not aware of the short-term disability kicked in 7 days after my surgery until 4/13/2017 that evening. I called Unum on 4/13/2017 but it was after hours. I received a call back on 4/17/2017 from Kayla whom was the specialist handling my claim. She told me my claim was approved through 4/19/2017.

When she told me the amount, I was like I did not receive anything for direct deposit or the Tax Form W-4. She said I could go online and submit the information. So, I did that. I called on 5/1/2017 inquiring direct deposit and the Tax Form W-4. An agent said she would put stop payment and have Kayla call me back. Kayla or no other rep called me back. I received a check anyway but taxes were still taken out and my direct deposit was not utilized. My W-4 clearly states EXEMPT. When I called today 5/9/2017 to ask about my taxes taken out, she said she will only reimburse for the last check and not first check since I didn’t get that information in before she approved the first check.

Well the first check was approved 4/20/2017 which is the day of initial contact with UNUM. I told her this is bad business practice. She told me I can do whatever I need to do. So, therefore I am writing this complaint to get retro pay back for the taxes from the first check. I wrote the BBB and UNUM did respond admitting their negligence still refusing. Be warned!

(No insurance company will ever admit to anything. The “we did nothing wrong” defense is a well-known response from Unum to anything they are accused of. Unum does not respond to BBB complaints as it alleges confidentiality issues. In my opinion, Unum insureds and claimants will have to get used to the fact that Unum is an extremely dysfunctional and chaotic insurance company. Currently, it is in the process of firing people and outsourcing work to other agencies. Nothing the company does of late is accurate or the result of good faith and fair dealing.

Another thing Unum claimants should understand is that nothing Unum reps say should be taken at face value. When the DBS’ are backed up against the wall, they will say anything. I’m sorry you had such a mixed up time with your STD, but its more normal for Unum to get it wrong than right lately.)

 
Jerry of Los Angeles, CA on

I was hit by a drunk driver 9/3/2015 and am just now trying to go back to work and this group of hateful people still have paid me less than 2% of what my policy provides. I have sold my car, my personal belongings and have gone up to five days in a row with no food because they do everything they can to not pay what they owe you. I have begged them for a check and they just don’t care. And in case you didn’t know, there is a secret website they use to upload your claim and communicate to anyone in the industry ANYTHING they want to without any regard to the truth or not.

My claim made it to that website and some person who has never met me, not spoke to me directly, attached his opinion to my claim that I was probably lying and the case was a fraud. So now I’m only a few weeks away from losing my home. Do they care I’m about to be homeless? No. Do they still think I’m lying? Probably. For your own sake, do not give these crooks one dollar of your money. And if you can, switch to any other company.

(From what I hear Unum is now training its newbies to consider all claims fraudulent until proven otherwise. I agree with you that Unum will do anything not to pay claims these days. No disability insurance company “cares” about you personally. They don’t care whether you can pay for your medications, whether you an afford to eat, or pay your bills. The only thing disability insurers care about is doing away with the financial reserve associated with your claim and having an immediate contribution to profit. I know it’s harsh to say this, but DCS, Inc. has been reporting for years that Unum, in particular, knows absolutely nothing about disability.

Today, Unum’s claims process is worse than its ever been. This claimant is correct. It isn’t worth it to contribute to premium when the chance of getting paid is very slim. Unum’s policies and Plans may not put food on the table.)

 

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Bill of Springfield, IL on Feb. 21, 2017

When they sold me this Unum critical heart and cancer insurance if I had cancer or if I had a heart attack or needed heart it would pay so I could use it for out-of-pocket expenses. Don’t waste your money on them. I had a rare surgery repositioning an artery which is found in about 5 percent of people. I had to have open heart to fix. Didn’t get a dime from them. Couldn’t even get their doctor to look at. Denied, denied. Don’t waste your money on them. You will be denied too.

(Unum began offering additional benefit riders such as hospital indemnity and critical care  insurance on their group Plans several years ago. Unfortunately, these additional Plans are contributory meaning claimants pay extra for them. I have never recommended that claimants spend the money for the additional benefits particularly when Unum “risk manages” them the same way they do its disability Plans.  For other insurers “indemnity insurance”, or insurance that pays a fixed daily rates for hospitalization or services paid directly to insureds, payments are not usually a big deal. However, like all Unum scams, the idea of risk managing “indemnity insurance” is profitable for them. I wouldn’t spend any money to buy Unum’s extra indemnity policies, as you can see they don’t pay out.)

Grace H. of Middletown, CT on Feb. 17, 2017

If I had NO disability insurance I would have been better off by far! They paid me 11,196.74 16 payments@$963.34/ea. Then took back $9,496.74 as a overpayment because they said that payments should have been only $100.00/mo — And demanded in a very threatening letter all the payback immediately. Why and who would overpay you $863.34 a month for 16 months without some kind of backhanded deal going on. You could never get real answers to questions. I won a disability case, I had a minor child, a retired husband and nowhere did I see “credits” for any of this or for the attorney’s fees either—It was a terrible time to be harassed and to be so very ill.

(No insurance company really cares about the people they sell policies to. Although this writer is unclear as to why a overpayment was due, “offsets” can only reduce benefits if the Plan or policy contract says the insurer can. Therefore, claimants need to have copies of their Certificate Booklet so they can determine what is a legitimate “offset” and what isn’t. Most of the time, though, deductions taken from benefits ARE contractual, but claimants are unaware of them. It it also very unfortunate that claimants have to deal with the issue of finances while ill and trying to manage their disability. Unum knows this, and usually takes advantage.)

Schon of Ashley, OH on Feb. 16, 2017

My former employer, Gateway Mortgage Group, offered short and long-term disability insurance with our benefits in 2016. After trying chiropractic care and physical therapy, my surgeon advised in July that I would need to have spinal fusion surgery on L5-S1 and I would also need to have metal rods inserted to stabilize the spine. Gateway advised me that there was nothing to worry about and I had the surgery in November. I knew that the first two weeks were unpaid and that the short-term disability would kick in at 60% of my pay thereafter.

From the first moment that I dealt with Unum, they were rude, dismissive, and disrespectful toward me. “What was I doing on my time off?” and “Your job is not that stressful, why can’t you work from home?” This started four weeks after surgery. It took them six weeks after my surgery to finally pay for four weeks of benefits. The following week, I received a letter from Unum stating that my claim would be denied unless I could provide further documentation stating that I was disabled. They took my doctor visit on December 12th and stated that since I was off of pain pills, there was nothing stopping me from going back to work. Being off of addictive painkillers was my choice but it does not mean that I was not in pain.

On January 4th, I told Unum that I would be seeking an attorney for an appeal to my case. I had my surgeon release me to go back (against his wishes) part-time from home on January 11th until my next visit with his office on February 6th. The attorney is still working on the case and I truly believe that Unum is one of the worst companies that I have ever dealt with. Later in January, I found a job with a better company. In my resignation letter to Gateway, I told them that they are ultimately responsible for their actions, the actions of their employees, and their third-party providers (Unum).

(The case described here is par for the Unum course. More and more reports are coming in to DCS describing rude and harsh treatment from claims handlers. I’m certainly glad that this claimant is fighting back and notified Gateway of Unum’s treatment. Unum couldn’t survive as a company without its Group LTD core products. All claimants should communicate with employers and let them know of Unum’s mistreatment.)

Michelle of Merrill, WI on Feb. 16, 2017

On November 9th of 2016 I went in for my 3rd Acl surgery. These were not work related. At that time Unum was ok with the short-term, constant phone calls and paperwork to get them to do their job, but it got done. I am a 50-year-old woman working in a factory job where I need to be lifting metal from a range of 20 lbs to 150 lbs. I worked there for 13 plus years. For 13 plus years I have paid for out of my own pocket for long-term, just in case. On Tuesday my doctor would only let me go back to work (this is after my 90 days of short-term) at light duty. My work place, which I knew this beforehand, after 90 days if I can’t make medium restrictions, cannot hold my job and at that time, let me go and issued long-term.

Today I get a phone call from a Unum representative, questioning me on my recovery and why I could not go back to work. I told her that it is not me, it is my doctor and my work, if they have nothing for me to do at light duty, so I cannot go back to work. So this very rude woman started to question me, she said, “Well we were checking out your Facebook and see that you are a very active person, and we seen you posted a picture of you zip lining on vacation.” I laughed and said, “Why yes, you did and if you are so smart to check out my pictures on Facebook you should have checked out the date and seen that picture was taken 4 years ago.”

Then she goes, “That I seen you took a vacation in January, and I seen that you were swimming.” First I said, “Well yes I did, it was a cruise, and if you look at the pictures you say you did, you will see a doctor issued brace that I wore, you also need to know it was not me so-called SWIMMING, take a better look, it is my daughter, daughter in law, son’s girlfriend, my sister-in-law and a close friend, who do you think took the pictures of them swimming?” She also questions hunting pictures that I had posted in my memories, from 2 to 3 years ago. She also question that I go to work out and questioned why I am not going to PT 3 times a week. I said that, “#1 my insurance reset at the first of the year and now it is out-of-pocket, so I cut it down to 1 time a week so I can afford it. #2, I go to work out because of me not doing PT 3 times a week, I need an Elliptical and a bike to use to get the strength back in my leg.”

She was rude and downright demeaning, I told her before I ended the call that, “It is NOT me, NOT wanting to go back to work, its work not having anything to fit my restrictions.” Maybe she needs to be calling them and asking them why? I am a very active person and life does not stop. I knew that this would be happening and was proactive and have job interviews for jobs that I can do with my restrictions. I am just amazed at how they treat people, not everyone in this world is out to screw them. It makes me wonder, because there are people worse off than me, with worse health conditions and this is how they treat people. Wow.

(Sometimes I think readers believe I’m over the top when I recommend that everyone on disability pull out of social media, Twitter, Facebook in particular. This is a very typical story about the fact that Unum actively accesses social media and uses it against their insureds and claimants whenever they can. If you have an active Facebook account please change the status to “Private” and only allow those you know about to access it. I actually recommend shutting it down entirely. And, by the way, it doesn’t make sense to me that anyone on disability would be publicizing activities on the Internet where it can be viewed, reported on, or hacked at any time by the international owners of the Internet. Be smart, and think twice about what you write on the Internet. You may as well be writing a letter directly to Unum when you do that.)

 

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ComplaintsBill of Springfield, IL on Feb. 21, 2017

When they sold me this Unum critical heart and cancer insurance if I had cancer or if I had a heart attack or needed heart it would pay so I could use it for out-of-pocket expenses. Don’t waste your money on them. I had a rare surgery repositioning an artery which is found in about 5 percent of people. I had to have open heart to fix. Didn’t get a dime from them. Couldn’t even get their doctor to look at. Denied, denied. Don’t waste your money on them. You will be denied too.

(What Bill is talking about here is Unum’s Critical Illness insurance. These policies are generally indemnity in nature and pay specific amounts of insurance per day for hospitalization, testing, and ongoing care for specified illnesses written into the policy. Employees most often have to contribute premium in order to also have Accident, Hospital Indemnity or Critical Illness coverage.

Regardless of the type of insurance Unum offers, the company doesn’t want to pay benefits. In addition, since most other health plans already cover critical illness, it is often a waste of. money to purchase indemnity insurance, particularly from an insurance company who denies most claims. I agree with Bill that oftentimes, “Add-On” indemnity insurance is a waste of premium.)

Grace H. of Middletown, CT on Feb. 17, 2017

If I had NO disability insurance I would have been better off by far! They paid me 11,196.74/16/payments@$963.34/ea. Then took back 9,496.74 as a overpayment Because they said that payments should have been only $100.00/mo — And demanded in a very threatening letter all the payback immediately. Why and Who would overpay you 863.34 a month for 16 months without some kind of backhanded deal going on. You could never get a real answers to questions. I won a disability case, I had a minor child, a retired husband and nowhere did I see “credits” for any of this or for the attorney’s fees either–It was a terrible time to be harassed and to be so very ill.

(One of the awful things about disability insurance is that those who are ill are forced to deal with a very complex and confusing insurance process.  Unfortunately, this looks like a situation where Unum paid unreduced benefits for a period of time and then realized the claimant had some sort of offset, perhaps SSDI that wasn’t deducted. Before I repaid anything to Unum I would have asked for a reconciliation spreadsheet of all benefits paid and due.

If this situation does describe a legitimate SSDI Plan provision allowing the offset of SSDI or Workers’ Compensation, the claimant has shared responsibility to have read the Plan and know that offsets are possible. It is indeed unfortunate to find out after the fact that you owe money back when you didn’t know about it in advance. It is always the claimants’ responsibility to be familiar with their Plans and understand the offset provisions.)

Schon of Ashley, OH on Feb. 16, 2017

My former employer, Gateway Mortgage Group, offered short and long-term disability insurance with our benefits in 2016. After trying chiropractic care and physical therapy, my surgeon advised in July that I would need to have spinal fusion surgery on L5-S1 and I would also need to have metal rods inserted to stabilize the spine. Gateway advised me that there was nothing to worry about and I had the surgery in November. I knew that the first two weeks were unpaid and that the short-term disability would kick in at 60% of my pay thereafter.

From the first moment that I dealt with Unum, they were rude, dismissive, and disrespectful toward me. “What was I doing on my time off?” and “Your job is not that stressful, why can’t you work from home?” This started four weeks after surgery. It took them six weeks after my surgery to finally pay for four weeks of benefits. The following week, I received a letter from Unum stating that my claim would be denied unless I could provide further documentation stating that I was disabled. They took my doctor visit on December 12th and stated that since I was off of pain pills, there was nothing stopping me from going back to work. Being off of addictive painkillers was my choice but it does not mean that I was not in pain.

On January 4th, I told Unum that I would be seeking an attorney for an appeal to my case. I had my surgeon release me to go back (against his wishes) part-time from home on January 11th until my next visit with his office on February 6th. The attorney is still working on the case and I truly believe that Unum is one of the worst companies that I have ever dealt with. Later in January, I found a job with a better company. In my resignation letter to Gateway, I told them that they are ultimately responsible for their actions, the actions of their employees, and their third-party providers (Unum).

(I think this post really says it all. In fact, Schon gave a pretty accurate description of Unum’s claim review communicated to DCS quite often by many others. This doesn’t sound like a company that has “gotten its act together does it?”)

Michelle of Merrill, WI on Feb. 16, 2017

On November 9th of 2016 I went in for my 3rd Acl surgery. These were not work related. At that time Unum was ok with the short-term, constant phone calls and paperwork to get them to do their job, but it got done. I am a 50-year-old woman working in a factory job where I need to be lifting metal from a range of 20 lbs to 150 lbs. I have work there for 13 plus years. For 13 plus years I have paid for out of my own pocket for long-term, just in case. Will, on Tuesday my doctor would only let me go back to work (this is after my 90 days of short-term) at light duty. My work place, which I knew this beforehand, after 90 days if I can’t make medium restrictions, cannot hold my job and at that time, let me go and issued long-term.

Today I get a phone call from a Unum representative, questioning me on my recovery and why I could not go back to work. I told her that it is not me, it is my doctor and my work, if they have nothing for me to do at light duty, so I cannot go back to work. So this very rude woman started to question me, she said, “Well we were checking out your Facebook and see that you are a very active person, and we seen you posted a picture of you zip lining on vacation.” I laughed and said, “Why yes, you did and if you are so smart to check out my pictures on Facebook you should have checked out the date and seen that picture was taken 4 years ago.”

Then she goes, “That I seen you took a vacation in January, and I seen that you were swimming.” First I said, “Well yes I did, it was a cruise, and if you look at the pictures you say you did, you will see a doctor issued brace that I wore, you also need to know it was not me so-called SWIMMING, take a better look, it is my daughter, daughter in law, son’s girlfriend, my sister-in-law and a close friend, who do you think took the pictures of them swimming?” She also questions hunting pictures that I had posted in my memories, from 2 to 3 years ago. She also question that I go to work out and questioned why I am not going to PT 3 times a week. I said that, “#1 my insurance reset at the first of the year and now it is out-of-pocket, so I cut it down to 1 time a week so I can afford it. #2, I go to work out because of me not doing PT 3 times a week, I need an Elliptical and a bike to use to get the strength back in my leg.”

She was rude and downright demeaning, I told her before I ended the call that, “It is NOT me, NOT wanting to go back to work, it’s work not having anything to fit my restrictions.” Maybe she needs to be calling them and asking them why? I am a very active person and life does not stop. I knew that this would be happening and was proactive and have job interviews for jobs that I can do with my restrictions. I am just amazed at how they treat people, not everyone in this world is out to screw them. It makes me wonder, because there are people worse off than me, with worse health conditions and this is how they treat people. Wow.

(Yes, I’m hearing a great deal about Unum’s rudeness! It’s obvious the claims handlers are not caring about disabled people. I’ve said many times that Unum knows absolutely nothing about disability. This is a real shame, but DCS never recommends that insureds and claimants speak with Unum reps on the phone anyway.)

These complaints are reposted from the Consumeraffiars.com website and I added my commentary.

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