About Cigna Disability Insurance
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After being initially being assigned to a claim manager who no longer worked for the organization, Aaron took over and got me approved within 24 hrs. Great job, initially. However, when it came time to extend, service was slow, causing appointments to be rescheduled. Now the claim is transition to long term, they are withholding the last of the STD payments until the long term term is approved. Meanwhile, I suffer in pain needlessly and have to further delay treatment due to lack of funds. I feel totally let down and at the mercy the claim manager who doesn’t return calls.
Updated on 08/30/2020: It is unfortunate but Cigna truly is a criminal enterprise which is leeching from communities it boasts to support so all their revenue/profits are a false indicator of company performance as in reality Cigna is engaging in unethical and illegal practices. I have been on disability for 13 months and still have not been paid ANY long term disability (LTD) payment even after providing Cigna with over ~700 pages of documents/letters from two unrelated MDs, a therapist, and my IOP programs. The claim denial is almost criminally systemic. My doctors have stated in letters Cigna is not willing to accept any evidence from them.
Cigna made several claims which were illogical, inaccurate, illegal which violate my LTD policy. Cigna has in past accessed health records without my authorization which was not required per my LTD policy (ie. pre-existing period). Cigna agents will not return calls or emails then blatantly lie they never received faxes. Cigna misinterprets doctor notes to systematically deny your benefits. They give the illusion of conducting impartial reviews but it is far from reality. Cigna gives unrealistic deadlines that by the time you get a doctors appointment it is already late. I have wasted at least 10-12 one hour doctor appointments writing to Cigna. They pay no attention to what is written instead keep denying with the same reason as original denial. The agents know exactly what is required upfront but they intentionally make one request per denial to drag matters into months.
I am filing a second BBB complaint - after the first complaint they had me speak to an advocacy team which is a front as even now I have not received any LTD payments. I have no choice but to get an attorney per my physicians. Cigna employees including executives knowingly made my disability worse than to start with.
My MD stated "At this point, what I can offer regarding this question has been addressed thoroughly by me in writing. This ongoing process has long since begun to unduly impact his mental health and my ability to provide treatment. As question after question is asked and adequately answered, Cigna has iteratively presented hurdle after hurdle. The ongoing financial strain and his experience of bureaucratic bullying have impacted mental health and his ability to meaningfully participate in treatment. He has shared with me his perspective that he is being treated differently because his disability is psychiatric in nature. It has become difficult to disagree and to avoid the interpretation that no answer supporting the claim will satisfy Cigna. I cannot in good conscience continue to participate in this exchange, and I have recommended that, for his well-being, either abandon this claim or defer to an attorney to continue its pursuit."
Original: I thought how bad can they be but Cigna excels when it comes to being inaccurate, unethical, and illogical. I went out on STD for 3 months and now been out for 8 months for LTD claim but Cigna still keeps insisting my claim is not valid and has now denied my appeal. It took me a while to realize no matter what document I provide their answer will be the same. They just need reasons to poke holes. I plan to file a lawsuit as my doctors and attorney have all said Cigna is just being difficult. So many issues I don't even know where to begin:
* Cigna agents will lie claiming they never received fax when I literally saw it go through.
* Cigna will intentionally take months hoping you would give up or go back to work.
* Cigna takes at least an entire month before responding to your letter.
* Cigna intentionally misinterprets your your doctors notes or try to use notes that are not even part of the pre-existing period. I suggest reviewing all notes before having your doctor send notes and tell your doctor to limit notes only for duration required.
* Cigna gives you unrealistic response timelines that by the time you get an appointment to see your doctor you are likely beyond their limit. Not only that they will keep you going back to your doctor for letters. In my case I spent at least 5x 1 hour long visits just writing letters.
* Cigna does not pay attention to what you write in your appeal as they keep denying you for the same reason they did in previous assessments.
* Cigna will make you go back to doctors repeatedly and they do all this in months which they knew from the beginning but they will drag it month after month trying to nitpick technicalities. For me I have OCD but they claimed I reported anxiety so I am disqualified but which mental health condition does not have anxiety? I got this clarified from my psychiatrist but then they claimed it said somewhere I had OCD spectrum disorder. I got 3 letters from this doctor and now it clearly and explicitly states I did not have OCD nor OCD spectrum disorder. I had two of my treating providers explicitly write a letter clarifying any misunderstanding or misinterpretations.
* Cigna representatives do not answer or return calls. Nor do they respond if you write emails.
Let's say you get through all the hurdles and have all your physicians EXPLICITLY write you did not have the disabling condition they still send you letter with points which are not only inaccurate but also illogical. My physicians have written enough letters already. I went back and forth with Cigna every few weeks for 10 months and now I finally have my doctors write page long letters in writing explicitly saying my condition was non-existent during the pre-existing time period.
Once I provided everything in writing they are starting to talk about period before my pre-existing period. In addition they are claiming the statements from my doctor are only opinions. There are so many inaccuracies and grammatical errors in the correspondences they have sent me and most of it is illogical EVEN IF what they are saying was true. They are now claiming that I had OCD prior to my pre-existing period so therefore I had it during the pre-existing period. My doctors are frustrated right now. I am planning to reach out to media outlets and hire an attorney as no matter what I send to Cigna they make useless excuses. I hope no one has to go through the suffering I did and hope justice gets served in court.
Took three months of doctors and back and forth with them to get a monthly payment. Took three months so get my SSDI. Once I paid them back they dropped me and said I am able to work. Now if they would pay me it would only be $153.00 a month. Now they want me to go and see doctors again and make more bills for me. I am partially blind also have a fractured back arthritis through my back and all have a problem with depth conception and I also unable to use a computer due to my blindness. I lost my eyesight due to a viral meningitis. Now they say I am able to work. The pain I have every day. And I am 62 years old. Unable to drive at night and when it rains. So go figure their policies.
This is by far the most frustrating and complicated insurance company to navigate. My employer supplied short term disability insurance through Cigna. By default, my employer pays for all employees to receive 40% of their base pay for up to 6 weeks. In November during open enrollment, I elected to have additional pay deducted to raise my coverage to 60% for 6 weeks due to pregnancy. I spent months before delivering my child trying to navigate the FMLA and short term disability waters to make this process as easy as possible. However, it is more likely that you will speak to someone who has NO idea what they are talking about and it is more likely that you will receive false information. When you ask to speak with a supervisor, you are sent to a voicemail and you never receive a call back.
Additionally, I only received 4 weeks of pay from them after being told that there is a two week waiting period that is uncompensated. Today I received a letter stating that they had overpaid as a result of incorrect benefit calculations. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! If anything, I was underpaid and I am still on maternity leave. Please do yourself a favor and find insurance with another company. Cigna is the worst, by far.
Cigna has its own standards for Mental illness. They treat mental illness differently than a real physical disability. That's what they told me. They have different, higher standards. I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1, borderline and so on in my late 50s and became disabled. I loved my job. I gave me a purpose and reason to get out of bed every day. As I started treatment, Cigna was my disability insurer. At a certain point they provided an outside company to apply for and advocate for me with social security SSDI. Social security approved the benefits immediately. Cigna then subtracted what social security paid me and paid me the difference, and they also carried on my life insurance.
Throughout this process every couple of months Cigna would launch an investigation as to whether I was still disabled. (Social security was satisfied though.) They would require documentation from my physicians and therapists. Each time forms needed to be filled out. Their high demands on my practitioners has been problematic and it’s becoming more difficult to obtain. It felt like harassment to me. I went through anxiety and stress each time. They made it clear it was my responsibility to ensure my doctors responded in a timely manner or the claim would be decided without their input.
Social security did approve my disability but Cigna states they have different standards for the qualifications of disability. Cigna + Mental illness = no disability. They blame everything on my prior employer's policy. I had scrutinized the policy when I left however since then Cigna bought my company, they are blowing smoke. They told me mental illness isn’t like a regular illness and LTD claims are often stopped after a certain amount of time. They think I should be able to do some type of work. They don’t care what kind of work that is or if my therapist agree; they don’t.
They disregard everything I have been struggling through. They’re throwing Mental illness back into the closet. I struggle financially. I lost my identity with losing my job. Now they suggest my mental illness isn’t all that bad. Mostly I struggle with dealing with being Bipolar I. The mood swings continue to cycle several times a month. I deal with my own bias of being embarrassed and ashamed. Cigna has reinforced that by treating my condition differently than a physical disability.
They said they haven’t heard from the therapist with the questions they had and she told me she had tried to call repeatedly then finally gave them her number at call at home as she was seeing patients online or on the phone with covid 19. They finally reached her and said they really didn’t need anything else. But their paperwork says there was no response from my therapist. It was easier to ignore her attempts to respond than to collect that information because they knew they were going to deny it anyway.
Are they pushing my practitioners to the point that they stop getting answers and cancel my coverage? Because that’s exactly what they did. First they cancelled my life insurance coverage and now are reviewing the rest of my claim. They’ll cancel that for the same reason. Cigna is treating mental illness like it’s not a real disability. They disregard that I continue to have my medications adjusted because I still cannot function independently.
This is a horrible insurance company.. ever. I paid for short term disability. Unable to return to work. I Applied for Cigna short-term disability I had paid for though my company. When I applied Case Mgr kept stating where I went to doctor Emergency room visit that I was not 80% disabled according to my job policy to get short term. This was July 2019 and it's now 6/5/20 20 and I still can't get paid for July through Nov. of 2019. I have worked 40 + years age 62 but their Case Mgr stated they weren't saying my condition didn't exist but I am not sick enough to get short term disability according to my company policy in order to get paid.
My next step with no income coming in while waiting to get approved for social security benefits will be to report my situation to the insurance commission to file a complaint. No one should have to go through this. They use same tactics as social security when you file and get rejected by them when applying for your benefits. Never once have I got a policy explaining my benefits. Please don't use dont use Cigna ins. A complete rip off. My money has been taken from pay check and I can even get the benefit from it.
My employer offers short term disability for which I have applied and been approved for before for the same condition I'm applying for this time. I have several chronic conditions so will not always show on labs etc. My first claims advisor advised me that if I had something like a broken arm it would be easier to prove. Then I was advised the details listed on the form filled out by my dr wasn't descriptive enough to say I was unable to work. Or my heart rate being over 120bpm just sitting isn't serious enough because it comes along with my condition. My Dr's Physicians Assistant went as far as to speak to a claims nurse to advise why I was unable to work but the information listed on my decline letter from their conversation was completely misconstrued.
This most recent appeal my dr refilled out the original short term form and I also forwarded a copy of spinal tap results showing neuroinflammation, however they decline letter stated that these documents were not considered relevant to my appeal so was denied. So at this point my dr has provided me the contact information for an attorney because he has never experienced this problem before with someone with my medical issues being approved for short term disability, especially when this same company approved it previously and for a longer period of time. So outside of being very sick, I was out of work unpaid for 3 months leading up to a pandemic when I need every penny I was due to be paid especially falling into the high risk category. I had no problem being approved for extended FMLA with Cigna so it just comes down to them not wanting them to pay the claim. I couldn't be more dissatisfied.
Cigna cut off my long term due to them saying I was able to work after social security has declared me permanent disabled. They paid my disability for 2 years then reviewed my file and terminated my long term saying I was able to work. I was not denied by social security any, which I would think would be much harder to prove disability to. Cigna stated I could get a job for thing I had never even heard of let alone qualified for. I've had to hire a attorney to take care of this problem. This is may and the attorney is still working on the case which started in January. I wouldn't recommend this company to my worst enemy.
Hi Dennis, I'm sorry to hear that you've had trouble with a continuation of your Long Term Disability benefits. I'd like to look into this for you and help in any way possible. Please email me at LetUsHelpU@cigna.com. -K.S.
A little history, I have a child born with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) known to patients, advocates, and caregivers as an "invisible illness". Doesn't help that majority afflicted with this disease are of African descent and it's a rare disease affecting about 100k Americans. These facts pose challenges in itself. From being labeled a drug seeker, because SCD causes the most inexplicable pain that can only be managed for many with the strongest narcotics like ** to name a few. Along with the historically bias and racism in healthcare. There are tons of articles about the inequalities faced by ** in healthcare from lack of access to ineffective treatment. This happens to ** and other marginal groups regardless if they have a chronic disease or not. I bet many who read this will probably have to google what SCD even is. So let's get to CIGNAS role.
I worked for one of the largest American insurance companies in NV. Upon being hired, it was no secret my child had SCD. My manager at the time admitted to me he even being ** knew little about it and no one before me worked there that was connected to it in anyway. So the 1st 1yr and a half my daughter did well no complications. In CA where we came from at my previous job of 10 yrs, I had FMLA just in case. Got it no problem.
So after missing days due to her illness and hospitalization, then missing more because I myself was hospitalized at same time as she. I finally made my year to apply for FMLA. Now from my research and understanding for intermittent FMLA, it was to be for 180 days before a recertification occurred. On 3 /1/18 I submitted for FMLA, on 3/7/18, my supervisor called me in for my annual review which was to be a review of 2017. I can not deny I had several absences but at this point I had been counseled but not placed on any formal corrective action that would cause me to lose my job. In Feb 2018, I had an incident with an agent, it didnt go well on either side. I immediately let my manager know never heard back.
So in March, expecting my 2017 review. I knew I would not score favorable on attendance, but I never had a complaint from any client, manager, or employee, my quality was top tier. So when my manager said needs improvement for availability, it was expected. He asked how I would do that, I explained that due to my daughters condition, I had applied for FMLA so future absences would not negatively affect my performance. This is an unpredictable disease so I didn't lie and say "I promise never to be absent again". Because if my daughter is super sick I'm going to her side, not worried about work. He then replies "plenty of people have FMLA and their attendance is not like yours". Like really, so at that point I'm real annoyed. He went thru more eval and literally almost every section was needs improvement. I didn't agree, ended meeting, and filed complaint next day.
My FMLA was approved by CIGNA back to 3/1/18. The length of approval was 3/1/18 to 5/23/18. Based on all paperwork I received prior the time was wrong. It should have been through September. I called CIGNA within that week or next, asked the person who answered why was it not for 6 months, she says, "Not sure but when you recertify in May we will take it to six months." Ok cool, I at the time thought no biggie, I'm qualified and I hoped my child would not have any complications that would make this issue more complicated.
My paperwork submitted by my doc was for w full absent days, well May was a tough month she was too sick for day care or hospitalized more. So I exceeded that, so there were some denied days by CIGNA, I had submitted the recertification to her doctor and advised that due to her complications I was out over 2 days, after having a conversation with a CIGNA rep, I notified her doctor it would need to have an increase of about 5 days so the denied could be changed to approved.
My manager on about the 24th or 25th of May asked about those days. I said documents were sent to doctor to complete. So I contacted CIGNA. They said once doc filled out new forms they would update and they are giving me time to get it in. Well on 5/30/18 I was terminated for attendance. Now the job was scum too and not being left off hook. So on 5/31/18 CIGNA gets the updates from my doc so even after I'm terminated, I'm getting notice of the denied dates retroactively approved and the approval until Nov for 6 months like the original should have been.
So of course I file with the department of labor against my job. They claim that due to absences prior to FMLA and that they gave previous notice they were justified in termination. Funny why in January, February, or March when I first got FMLA, they did nothing, instead they made my last two months a living hell, basically turning coworkers against me, making up things to write me up. HR did almost nothing even though I had documentation of blatant lies they made.
Back to CIGNA, during my dept of Labor complaint, the investigator stated they would be levying violations against company as the FMLA should have been for 180 days. I have been fighting the employer 2 years. Still fighting. I will not let them get away, I know if it was Cancer they would have been more understanding, not pulling the "race" card. But I saw with my own eyes a woman who didnt even qualify for FMLA but had a child with a heart condition, they made every concession for her to keep her job but not this ** girl with the ** kid who doesn't "look sick".
So once I got confirmation from DOL that the FMLA was not right. I contacted CIGNA, in March, no follow up. I know COVID19 takes precedence for everything right now. So I'm gonna reach out again. COVID19 is allowing a lot of shady and ineffective companies a shield for things they should be held to the fire for. I believe if my FMLA was originally for the 6 months it should have been for the company would not have felt they could terminate me because ,I know a lot of times companies won't do things when someone is on FMLA. In my case I don't think they had a reason other than ego because I know what Im talking about and didnt lie down and take their crap.
The fact that my FMLA expired 5/23/18 and I was terminated on 5/30/18 shows they waited until it expired and if CIGNA processed it correctly, they would have probably tried to find another way. I read the FMLA for the company it says you have 15 days to submit recertification. CIGNAs poor follow up and their error in processing my intermittent FMLA has caused a serious hardship for my family and household and I feel a conversation at the least is warranted.
I came on here to write a review about Cigna and to warn others not to waste your money and time and I see that I'm not the only one going through this problem.
I had to cervical infusion in my C4 to C7 but have continue pain. My new Neurosurgeon pulled me out of work so I can take my medication as prescribed because I can't take them at work. Despite taking my medicine I been going to physical therapy. I haven't received a benefit check in a month due to Cigna denying my claim.
When I asked why was it denied I was told, "Your Dr. Said you was ok so there's nothing wrong with you". I said, "I know for a fact my Dr. Didn't say that because he pulled me out of work and if he felt I was ok he will be sending me back to work". So my claim manager said, 'Your Dr. Put that your cranium was fine and your motor skills was fine so our nurses who reviewed the claim feel you're ok". First of all I never seen my Dr. For my brain. I see him for my upper back pain and radiation on my left arm. Nor did he ask me about my cranium.
Not to mention I was referred for a second opinion to a orthopedic surgeon who said I have Pseudo arthrosis and have to a 3rd surgery this time in the back of my neck. I have a screw loose in my C7 as well but yet my claim is still being denied. I'm being told they have nurses who looks over the medical reports and come up with their decision.
I pay Cigna for this sorry insurance for them to tell me that my Medical condition isn't worth being out of work for. This is the worst insurance EVER!!! I work at a hospital and we use to have Unum disability and they were wonderful. With everything that going on right now I should be focusing on trying to get better but I'm stressed because of my bills and now I have to have surgery but have to deal with this with a insurance that I pay for. I'm calling my H.R. and cancel with them because they're not worth the crap they're putting me through and I will pay on my own with a more respectful Disability insurance company who actually cares about their customers and not just take their money but don't want to give customers what they pay for.
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