CIGNA Reaches Regulatory Settlement Agreement with Massachusetts Prompting the Review of Disability Benefit Denials
Author: Attorney Stephen Jessup
On May 12, 2013, the state of Massachusetts took a step in the right direction when it let CIGNA know that its unscrupulous claims handling procedures as they relate to disability benefits under ERISA governed long term disability policies would not be tolerated. Known as the CIGNA Regulatory Settlement Agreement, the settlement was entered into by five states (California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, or Pennsylvania) and the following insurance entities Life Insurance Company of North America, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company and Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (all under the umbrella of the more commonly known “CIGNA”).
Massachusetts Fines Cigna $250,000 For Unreasonable Long Term Disability Claim Handling
The Regulatory Settlement Agreement was reached after an investigation was initiated on September 15, 2009 by the Maine Superintendent of Insurance and the Massachusetts Commissioner of Insurance to investigate CIGNA’s claims handling practices as they relate to ERISA governed long term disability policies. Although the details are not yet clear as to what information the investigation revealed, the results of same prompted the Massachusetts Department of Insurance to fine CIGNA $250,000.00 as well as assess an additional $150,000.00 fee.
“Massachusetts has always done a good job of protecting it’s citizens from the unreasonable actions of insurance companies and it is great to see that they are trying to make Cigna act ethically, reasonably and professionally,” stated Attorney Gregory Michael Dell, a nationwide disability insurance attorney and member of the Massachusetts Bar Association. The state of Massachusetts will continue to monitor Cigna for a 24 month period in order to make sure Cigna complies with the Regulatory Settlement Agreement. A complete copy of the agreement can be viewed by clicking here.
In total CIGNA has been fined over $1.6 million dollars as a result of what was deemed to be unfair and unreasonable claims handling practices and has allegedly set aside over $75 million to pay potential claims to be reassessed. If you’re a Massachusetts resident whose long term disability claim was denied or terminated in 2009 and 2010 your claim may be eligible for reassessment. It is important to note that if you receive notice from CIGNA that your claim is eligible for reassessment you MUST notify CIGNA of your intent to have your claim reassessed within 60 DAYS of the letter.
Attorneys Dell & Schaefer is available to provide you with an immediate free consultation to advise you as to the best way to collect Cigna disability benefits that may have been wrongfully denied. Click here for additional detailed information about the terms of the Cigna Settlement Agreement.