CIGNA Reaches Regulatory Settlement Agreement with Massachusetts Prompting the Review of Disability Benefit Denials

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.

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Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

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Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Celestine D.

I am a 61 year old Senior Business Analyst. I had been working at a health insurance company for approximately 11 years when I became disabled and have had numerous, bulging disks, nerves that were severely impinged, and active arthritis and degenerative disk disease throughout my spine. I underwent back surgery for L1 thru L5 infusion which included insertion of 2 titanium rods and 6 pins. I continue to undergo physical therapy 3 xs per week. Not to mention the surgery left me worse than before the surgery considered a FAILED BACK SURGERY. I’m unable to sit or stand for more than 2 hours with getting up. I am unable to walk for more than 1 city block. I also have many other medical conditions. After collecting LTD from Lincoln Financial for about 3 years, the harassment began. They decided that I was no longer disabled. In short they felt I was capable of returning back to the work force. (Social Security Disability deemed me permanently disabled)

After fighting with Lincoln and exhausting my appeals I decided to research and hire an attorney. I selected Dell & Schaefer based on their website, case success statistics, and the speed at which they returned my calls and emails.

Let me tell you, my experience in working with Rachel Alters and her assistant Michal Mizrahi is nothing short of outstanding. They responded quickly to phone calls and emails and were mindful of my concerns and information needs. Talking with the both of them made me feel confident and assured they were doing the best for me. I cannot say enough good things about Michal. She anticipated my needs and was proactive in keeping me informed as my case progressed. What a TEAM they make. Any time I reached out with questions or concerns they were very responsive and always left me feeling satisfied that I had the best in my corner. Rachel is an angel. She is so down to earth compassionate, professional and trustworthy attorney. Rachel was there to guide me from the start and helped me get through this stressful and lengthy process.

While attempting to handle it on my own, my long-term-disability claim had been denied two previous times. With the help of Rachel Alters and her team, I was able to obtain a settlement I never would have been able to get without their assistance. Rachel and her team far exceeded my expectations in every capacity. She was focused, clear, responsive, efficient and above all exceedingly knowledgeable.

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