In May 2013, insurance commissioners from several states reached a settlement with Cigna over the company's unfair claims handling practices. Cigna, one of America's largest and most profitable long-term disability insurance companies, set aside $77 million for payment to wrongfully denied policyholders. It also was instructed to review past claims for disability benefits, from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2010.
Many insurance companies such as Cigna regularly deny claims at the expense of policyholders, which increases the firms' bottom lines and lets them retain profits. Several major insurers have been fined millions for denying legitimate long-term disability claims.
In this recent instance, state regulators discovered unfair claims review procedures that led to the deliberate mishandling of long-term disability claims by Cigna. These practices included ignoring independent doctors' medical findings, discounting information from Social Security disability decisions, and minimizing attention to workers' compensation records.
Cigna companies impacted by the original settlement include:
- Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co. (formerly known as Alta Health and Life)
- Life Insurance Company of North America (LINA)
- Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. (CGLIC)
Since then, although settlement reviews have expanded to 47 states, Cigna is not notifying policyholders that their claims may be up for review. In some cases, policyholders may not realize they are eligible for a claim reassessment until they receive requests for additional information, such as medical records, employment, or for financial verification.
Other policyholders may receive no notice at all, and simply get a letter informing them that they have been awarded additional benefits. Along with this award letter, policyholders are being asked to waive their rights to further litigate ANY claim against Cigna.
Signing away the right to appeal or litigate is something that all policyholders should weigh carefully. Sokolove Law can assist you as you navigate your legal options. Don't give up on your denied disability insurance benefits.
The time to file a claim may be limited. Call (800) 995-1212 today.