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Posts Tagged ‘Unum complaints’

Unum Complaints With Commentary

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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Friday Q & A

Q&A ButtonCan I file an internal complaint with Unum?

Yes, but you would be wasting your time. Unum’s complaint procedure doesn’t solve problems or issues. Unum’s responses from Richard Joseph are usually multi-page letters telling you “we did nothing wrong.” If you think about it, no insurance company is likely to admit wrongdoing anyway.

Complaints, however, to state insurance departments can make a difference if enough people complain about the same things. The complaint from one insured may not be acted upon but in combination with other complaints could inspire the DOLs to begin “Conduct Market Examinations” that could prove costly to insurers.

While state DOLs were before reluctant to investigate complaints outside of their jurisdiction (ERISA), the number of complaints received still counts. We encourage ERISA claimants to file “courtesy complaints” to state departments of insurance.

In addition, ERISA claimants should always send letters of complaint to their HR Benefit Administrators. Unum couldn’t operate for very long if employer’s pulled their Group LTD business from Unum. It’s always a good idea to let your employer, a co-fiduciary of your Plan, know how Unum managed your claim and whether or not it was denied unfairly.

Complaining to Unum, a company that openly admits it does nothing wrong, is a waste of anyone’s time.

CIGNA is giving me a hard time. Any advice?

CIGNA is another one of the insurance “bottom feeders” that is so paranoid it won’t even disclose the full name of those who manage claims. The company was hit with a multi-state settlement agreement in 2013, but like Unum, continues to ignore its promises of changes agreed to. Claims handlers aren’t smart, and managers know less than they do.

CIGNA’s claims process includes making calls to treating physicians. Even though CIGNA’s policies do not require doc-to-doc calls as proof of claim, CIGNA uses no-contact as cause for denial. This is a breach of contract.

The best thing to do with CIGNA is make sure you get everything in writing and stay on top of the process every minute. CIGNA has been cited in several lawsuits in 2016, so it’s best to keep a journal and document everything. The DOL in Maine was a lead regulator in the 2013 CIGNA multi-state and complaints can always be sent there as well.

What is Unum’s Extended Duration Unit? Should I be concerned?

Unum’s EDU lost it’s significance three years ago when management sent it’s best claims handlers there to “deny as many claims as they could.” Therefore, although claims are still sent to the EDU, they are also “risk managed” even though benefits have been paid 10-15 years in some cases.

Many claimants were hurt financially as a result of Unum’s “arbitrary and capricious” denials from the EDU. Remember, these are claims that have been awarded SSDI and liability to maximum duration was at one time accepted by Unum.

Today, it doesn’t matter. Unum will deny any claim it can get away with whether it is in the Extended Duration Unit or not. There is no longer a “safety zone” for Unum insureds and claimants, and claims are eternally targets for denial.

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More Unum Complaints With Commentary

ComplaintsJacqueline of Mahwah, NJ on Jan. 14, 2017

I had an 18-month policy with UNUM paid for through employee deductions. Before I became ill I knew nothing about this company or their practices. My illness was of a mental nature so my policy was limited to 18 months (something HR forgets to tell you). Most policies are limited to 24 months and that is when they want you gone!

The claim represented harassed me on a weekly basis, spending 30 mins or more asking questions like: How do I spend my day, do I watch television, who cleans my house and so one. I take a lot of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds so I could not even think straight. They not only harassed me but sent my therapist and psychiatrist weekly questions. The rep even faxed my one doctor a form saying, “Sign this so your patient can go back to work!” The physician phoned me at home asking if I told UNUM that I was going back to work. I told him no, he said it was very sneaky of UNUM to fax this form as he is a very busy doctor and does not have time to look over every single insurance form. My therapist old me she has never ever been sent so many forms to complete and she has been in practice for over 35 years!

Yesterday, after 24 months of disability I logged on the UNUM website, apparently my claim is closed with no denial letter or explanation. I called UNUM Carrie out of the ME office but she was not available, how convenient. I asked why I could not access my documentation online and a customer service rep said he did not know and that it was just a coincidence, really.

I am quite relieved about being denied, even though I have never received a formal denial. No more phone calls from Carrie, no more harassment, no more added anxiety. I am absolutely positive they receive incentive bonuses on how many cases they can deny. How do I know? I was a no-fault adjuster for 34 years… the only difference is I never harassed claimants to the point that UNUM does. No point in getting an attorney as I think it would cost more than UNUM pays me. I will however make an Insurance Department complaint about UNUM’s practices as it borders on BAD FAITH.

(This is a situation that occurred quite frequently even a decade ago when I worked for Unum Life and UnumProvident. Mental and Nervous claims are immediately targeted and projected for denial. In fact, once coded on BAS (Unum’s pay system), Mental and Nervous Claims go away automatically, and it is possible a really ding bat claims handler would not notice a denial letter was required.

Actually, two letters are required by Unum – one about three months before the M&N denial asking if there is additional information to be considered for physical disability, and then the denial letter giving claimants their appeal rights under ERISA.

The issue of Unum contacting treating physicians and therapists to persuade them to return patients to work is. not a new one. Unum frequently contacts treating providers and proceeds to convince them patients can work. I’m glad to see here that the therapist immediately contacted his patient. Many Unum claimants actually feel relieved when no longer connected to Unum.)

Lavanya of Aurora, IL on Jan. 12, 2017

After suffering severe sciatica for years, I finally convinced myself that it was time to go for back surgery as my situation has gotten worse over the summer of 2016. I could not stand or walk for more than “10 sec”. I couldn’t sit and lay down in any position desired. It was true living hell. MRI showed Disc herniation with impingement on Sciatic nerve root. In Oct of 2016, I went for the microdiscectomy and laminectomy, during which it was found out that there were disc (L5-S1) fragments in the nerve canal causing significant narrowing of nerve canal, hence the pain and numbness in the leg. Surgery was successful. I could walk without limp, and my leg started gaining strength although there was pain from the surgery itself. It was ordered recovery for 8-12 weeks.

Ten days after the surgery, I got a call from UNUM if I could return to work. I was caught with surprise as my short-term disability and medical leave were approved through the end of the year (11 weeks) and my surgeon recommended 8-12 weeks of recovery depending on how quickly I recover. I made a call to my UNUM case representative and she tried to explain to me that note from my prior doctor’s visit (a week after the surgery) said I had no pain, hence I should be able to go back to work. Politely I explained to her that I was still on narcotic painkillers and no way I was in a position to sit and work and that I have not recovered.

A few days later, I get another mail that my claim was extended for 2 more weeks, and that I need to prove why I can’t go back to work. After making several calls (she would never answer her direct line) and number of voice mails, I talked to someone on the Main line to have her contact me. Then she called me telling that Doctor’s office didn’t send them restrictions. I asked her if she has requested the same, apparently they sent number of pages for the doctor’s office to fill and never made it clear what exactly they needed. I was extremely furious because I was in pain, disabled, and then these people made me feel insignificant and I had to convince them that I need time to recover after an illness and doctor’s order is not enough. They needed restrictions as to what was keeping me off work. Obviously “being in pain after surgery” didn’t count as a valid reason to them. What kind of insurance company is that?

I firmly told her that I was not to return to work till I had my follow-up with my surgeon in Dec. Then another mail that my claim was extended till the date of my follow-up appointment. In the meantime, I contacted my employer and HR and I explained them the harassment I had to go through at the time when I expected some empathy from UNUM. Reading from elsewhere, they do that to cancer patients too! Repeatedly asking them what is stopping them from returning to work while they go through the cancer treatment.

Finally it was day of my follow-up with surgeon. I asked my surgeon if I could go back to work, he said I could if I can. This was on a Thursday. Then I called UNUM the next morning (Friday). Again multiple calls with no response to the same agent. Left a voicemail and reached someone over the main line to tell them that I was going back to work on Monday. They asked me a series of questions, and there was the end of it. My disability claim was going to end and I was returning to work. Keep in mind that I was still recovering, just well enough to be returning to work. I was glad that I was done with UNUM. A week or so later, I receive another mail asking for documentation from Nov to Dec, proving why I had to stay off work. I ignored as I had already been working for over a week. A few days later, another mail asking for documentation, ignored again.

Then last week, another mail saying that my claim has been closed and was approved only till Dec 8 (Thursday) as last doctor’s visit note had indicated no complications and that I was doing well and that they received a return to work note on Dec 15 but they only approved till Dec 8. Dec 8 is Thursday, Dec 9 is Friday, the day of the call. Dec 10, 11 – Weekend. Dec 12 – return to work. But they only approved till Dec 8th.

It’s amazing how they think they can decide how long a person should recover post-op better than a medical provider. The vocabulary made me rethink what is “well” and what is “ability”. “Your job requires only sedentary physical ability hence, we are closing the claim.” Is pain hindrance to physical ability or mental ability? I obviously need mental ability with higher IQ and specific skills to perform my job, not just sedentary physical ability to be able to sit at desk all day long.
If you expect someone to go back to work 2 weeks post-op while on pain meds just because your job only requires sedentary physical ability, that is lame. I have no doubt someone would sue them because of their obstruction in post-op recovery and harassment they put them through.

(What Lavanya is describing here is Unum’s use of a medical recovery software called Medical Advisor that lists all possible standard recovery dates for impairments. Unum began using this software as a “stop-gap” to allow handlers to make medical recovery decisions without doing RN “walk-ins.” The program also allows claims specialists to set Expected Recovery Dates (“ERD”) without requiring someone to validate or micromanage the process. Remember, ERDs aren’t recovery dates at all, but “denial” dates.

In combination with Medical Advisor, ERDs and the “hop skip” process of STD, short-term disability quickly becomes a Unum complicated mess. Recovery software does not take into account that each individual heals at different rates and in most instances is inaccurate. Unum loves it because the recovery dates are listed at the earliest, not the latest.

The use of this software makes claims miserable for Unum’s customers because of having to explain every two weeks why they can’t go back to work.)

Harvey of Swindon, Other on Dec. 9, 2016

We had “Unum” as our Dental Benefit work provider, which was previously known as NDP which they took over from Capita in the UK. Every single claim was a hassle. If you had two dental appointments close together (I hate dentist so like to get the pain done and dusted quickly) for 2 separate teeth, they would class this a single course of treatment. Every claim was a quibble. Even though the dentist had filled in the form detailing that is was a separate filling and/or other treatment it was quibbled over, wasting the dentist’s time and my time. I would never sign up to Unum again as part of a corporate dental plan. Everything is the bottom line, no empathy, so feeling or understanding, just questioning every time every claim. Don’t bother with them, go elsewhere.

(It isn’t comforting to know that Unum’s unfair tactics jump into the management of other products as well. We all know Unum’s LTC product was a disaster that cost the company $42M in damages. This complaint points out the dangers of signing up for “Unum package” deals offered as part of an employer’s Group Plan. Products such as Accident, Life, Supplemental, Dental and Hospital Indemnity are often available to employees.

If Unum acts like a duck and quacks like a duck on its disability products I think it’s a pretty good guarantee its quackery on other products is a sure bet and not worth the extra premium.)

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dissatisfiedMelissa of Boca Raton, FL on Oct. 21, 2016

Unum only paid 5 weeks of short-term disability for pregnancy (coverage did not begin until 7 days after delivery). I had a cesarean section delivery and was expecting the 8 weeks of disability recommended in the state of Florida but Unum denied payment after 5 weeks and denied an appeal after providing additional documentation. I had an upper respiratory infection prior to delivery and while hospitalized for the delivery I was diagnosed with pneumonia. I was discharged on time but required continued care under a pulmonologist. It complicated my recovery but it didn’t matter to Unum. Given what I paid into the policy, it would have been wiser and more cost-effective to put the money into a savings account.

When I tried to cancel my policy upon my return to work I was told to call back because the system was down. I called back and was told my policy was canceled and that a letter was sent. I followed up a week later because I had not received a letter and found out that the policy was not canceled and canceled it again. I received an email confirmation when signing up and received an email when I filed an online claim, but they could not send me an email to confirm cancellation. I am disgusted with this company and will never purchase a policy through them again. It is a scam.

(This sounds suspiciously like using Medical Advisor software to determine recovery periods. We’ve been hearing from some of our Unum sources that Unum STD is engaging in practices designed to eliminate claims “sooner rather than later.” On the other side of the fence we are also hearing from more claimants that they want to either withdraw their claims or get out from under the policies they purchased. Unum isn’t demonstrating a competency level normally expected from disability insurers either.)

John of Goshen, IN on Oct. 7, 2016

Aug. 19, 2016 I had abdominal surgery for the 6th time. We knew, and the doctor knew this was going to be a lengthy recovery. The process started out great, people on the phone were delightful and helpful. Things spiraled down from there. On 8/26 I received my normal paycheck for working up to 8/18. Unum stated given the nature of my surgery, I should return to work 8/30. I received a letter stating that following the 7 day waiting period I would receive a check for 3 days at 60% of my rate. I contacted my doctor to submit the necessary paperwork, to which they complied. 3 days later I called to check the status and I was informed the paperwork was insufficient. No one called me, they said I would receive a letter.

Long story short, the doctor’s office re-sent paperwork 4 times with a tentative return to work date of Oct. 1. 3 weeks later I was paid a portion of what Unum owed me. For an insurance company, they “lose” paperwork a lot! People at the call center are hopeless, and my account specialist is a joke. The best part so far is the letter I received stating I was released from my doctor to return to work on 9/22/16. They have yet to produce documentation to prove that. They are FRAUDS. Short term disability is free through my employer, and good thing, because I will NEVER give this company a penny of my money… I am ready to seek legal counsel.

(As above, it seems clear Unum’s competency to manage claims is worsening. This is why DCS clients always obtain their own patient notes and paperwork and submit with several back-up confirmations. Although Unum isn’t the only company to lose paperwork (CIGNA and Aetna), it is becoming increasingly clear that the company’s former excellent customer service under Jim Orr III’s leadership is a thing of the past. More and more Unum insured and claimants are having difficulty proving disability. It is even harder when Unum’s negligence causes claims to be denied when it is not the claimant’s fault.)

Demetra of Astoria, NY on Oct. 3, 2016

My employer uses Unum as our short-term disability vendor. I have been with my employer for over a decade and after many bouts of stress/anxiety/panic and depression, I decided with the advice of my doctors and the support of my boss to take some time off to deal with these issues. I love my job but it is stressful and my work/life balance is compromised. I wanted to take time off to get in a better mental place so I can be an efficient and clear minded employee.

I opened my claim for STD in mid August with all the appropriate paperwork from my doctor. It took a thousand calls from me (none from them) and 6 weeks of pure aggravation in the end to only have my claim be denied on grounds of it being work related! UMMM… isn’t that what I stated from day one? Shouldn’t have someone at Unum communicated this ‘work related’ exclusion clause to me? It would have saved me weeks of aggravation and hence, deeming my leave useless as I was still stressed out and suffering from anxiety attacks due to being in disability limbo. The worst experience ever!

(Actually, this situation was reported to DCS by a reliable source describing “work related” allegations as a scheme to push claims back to workers’ compensation. Since Unum’s STD does not pay when claims are work related, Unum is now abusing that fact to allege sickness is “work related injury” and is denying claims when there has been no “catastrophic work event”. STD claimants are told to file for workers’ compensation even when the cause of disability is sickness and not a work place injury. In fact, this Unum scheme was previously reported to DCS as much as six months ago. This claimant is unfortunately believing what Unum told her, but depression is generally not due to only one thing, but rather a combination of life circumstances at the time. This might be a good lesson to know that not everything Unum says is accurate but is said in self-interest.)

Loretta of Maple Shade, NJ on Sept. 8, 2016

I’ve been an RN Case Manager at Hahnemann Hospital, part of Tenet Healthcare, since September 2003. I have had to use the Unum disability insurance (the only option we’re provided with) for any medical leave since being hired, and have had many more negative interactions than positive ones. I have had chronic back pain since an MVA in 1991, which I was desperate enough to make go away that I agreed to a 2-level spinal fusion in 1/2003 (even though I knew there was a really good chance that it wouldn’t help!). I was right, it didn’t help, and when I tried to get my employer (Horizon Blue Cross of NJ) to set me up to work from home (which other nurses doing my same job were already doing! ), she instead fired me for being absent! I started working at Hahnemann a few months later.

Since 2006, I’ve had the misfortune of having to use Unum multiple times for short-term disability, and I’ve had problems with my payments for more half of those periods of disability. Since I returned to work after all but present episode, I was eventually able to start bringing in money again by returning to my job. This time, however, I’m in a different position. I’ve been getting treated for osteoarthritis in my knees, hands, wrists & fingers for years. At this point, I’m no longer able to tolerate hours of computer, mouse, charting & writing anymore, and & meds I’ve been taking all these years make me a little drowsy, leaving me in danger of being fired for sleeping on the job!

I didn’t receive the check for the initial 6 weeks I was out (which included a 2-week elimination period that I was paying extra to reduce from 4 weeks) until AFTER I was initially scheduled to have returned to work! I was the one who put the paperwork into the fax machine at the doctor’s office for the first 6-week extension of my leave. I gave them a few days to work on the records, and then discovered on the website that they had closed the claim! I called them, and went back to the doctor’s office to resubmit everything to them through the end of July, and waited again for something to happen. Nothing did, so again I called, and uploaded the chart info myself to ensure they couldn’t deny receiving them.

The day after the records were uploaded, Unum generated another letter again asking my doctor for his records. When I called to tell them that both the office & I had submitted the requested information. I was then assured that the information was received & was being reviewed. Today, I dropped off my prescription for my pain meds and found out that my health insurance, which I sent almost $1,300 to Tenet to keep intact just after receiving the payment from Unum for June, 2016 (that I didn’t receive until the last week of AUGUST!). I have to now deal with the Tenet benefits department to see if there is anything that I can do to get this mess fixed.

My doctor wonders why my normally average blood pressure has gone into the stroke (200/100) range! The people at Unum have no conscience; they’ve received specific notes from my doctor noting that my blood pressure has been too high for him to give me steroid injections in the joints in my fingers, which has not happened to me before this summer.

(This is really a terrible situation and is a major sign of Unum’s constant downsizing and eliminating employees from the company. I’ve heard rumors that perhaps Unum may be sending its customer service to India, but I’m not sure that’s going to solve the problem. I do think there is a valid complaint here regarding receiving late payment when extra premium was paid to reduce the EP. Unum is now having a major problem with obtaining paperwork from physicians. Clearly, it isn’t the claimant’s fault if Unum can’t find what they request. Notice that most of these complaints have to do with Unum’s STD, a very common complaint these days.)

Reposted from consumer affairs.com with added comment from me.

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Someone who can helpDisability Claims Solutions, Inc. is a fee based, national consulting organization that provides expert claims management services to those with private insurance. I offer free initial consultation. If you are interested in becoming a DCS client, please feel free to visit my website at: http://www.disabilityclaimssolutions.com

  • Telephone: (207) 793-4593
  • Fax: (207) 274-2331

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