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Insured denied benefits by Unum due to failure to receive “appropriate care”

Larry Mack claimed that he is totally disabled from his occupation as a marriage and family therapist due to diabetes. He sued his disability insurer, Unum Life Insurance Company, after being denied his claim for long-term disability benefits. Unum argued that Mr. Mack is not entitled to long-term benefits because he did not receive “appropriate care” as required by his policy. Mr. Mack admitted to not seeking help from his internal medicine doctor for long periods of time but argued that during these months he was “self-treating” his diabetes by taking Glucophage daily and by monitoring his diet.

The court said such “self-treatment” does not meet the policy requirement that the claimant be under medical treatment in order to receive benefits. The court reasoned that Mr. Mack failed to abide by the standard of care his internal medicine doctor prescribed for diabetic patients, U.S. Judge Linnea R. Johnson granted partial summary judgment to Unum.

See Larry B. Mack v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, No. 06-80308, S.D. Fla.; 2007 U.S. Dist..

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