Cigna Long-Term Disability Denial Attorney
Cigna long-term disability denial continues to be the subject of many federal lawsuits. A worldwide provider of insurance, Cigna Health Insurance Company markets products ranging from medical, dental and life insurance to employer-provided short-term and long-term group disability plans.
Their disability insurance is provided by Cigna Group Insurance and is underwritten by affiliated companies including Life Insurance Company of North America (LINA) and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York.
Like all insurance companies, Cigna is in business to be profitable, and they don’t make money by paying out claims. In order to justify a claim denial, Cigna may use many different tactics. It’s important to fight back with help from an attorney who knows these tactics and how to beat them.
If your claim for disability benefits has been denied, delayed or terminated by Cigna or one of their affiliated companies, Marc Whitehead & Associates are are here to help. We are skilled attorneys who represent Cigna long-term disability denial claims across the United States. Distance does not limit our ability to help you. We will thoroughly evaluate your case and get you the answers you need.
Why Did Cigna Deny Your Long-Term Disability Insurance Claim?
The business models of most insurance companies focus on denying claims whenever possible. Cigna, in particular, utilizes this strategy. If Cigna denies your long-term disability (LTD) claim, it is usually because they found a reason to do so. In 2013, they settled a court case regarding improper claim denial, but these issues persist.
Cigna denies most claims, but you have the right to appeal. Read your denial letter carefully to ascertain precisely why it was denied. Once you understand this, you can take steps to prepare an appeal. That is where an experienced long-term disability lawyer comes in.
Common reasons for Cigna denying your long-term disability claim include:
LTD claims require a great deal of paperwork and documentation. When necessary documents or forms are not submitted, the claim is denied.
Failure to disclose a pre-existing condition
A favorite insurance company ploy is denying benefits due to a pre-existing condition. That is especially true of Cigna, whose policies include strong language regarding exclusions of pre-existing conditions.
Inadequate or insufficient medical examination
Cigna requires complete records regarding visits to a healthcare provider or following a course of treatment. Ensure your medical records are current and follow your doctor’s instructions rigorously. Get a formal statement from your doctor describing your condition in detail.
Definition of disability not met
Cigna’s LTD policies specifically define disability. The company may deny your claim if it determines your issue does not meet its definition.
Submitting all paperwork by the relevant deadline is imperative. Missing deadlines are frequently cited as reasons to deny claims.
Their medical examiner disagrees with your doctor
Cigna may hire their own physicians to review your records under the guise of an “independent medical review.” Their doctor inevitably disagrees with your doctor’s diagnosis.
You have 180 days to file your appeal
We could file your Cigna application with the proper paperwork and documentation in a timely manner. Remember that you have 180 days from the denial date to file your appeal.
The appeal process for Cigna disability claim denial is governed by ERISA.
Almost all employer-provided group disability insurance plans are subject to the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or ERISA. Cigna disability claims fall into this category. Most attorneys are not trained in the complexities of ERISA governed claims. The legal process is quite different from insurance claims that are governed by state insurance law.
In fact, there are many unfortunate downsides of ERISA. One negative aspect is that the law gives the insurance companies immunity from bad faith claims.
The first step in the Cigna disability appeal process is receiving your letter of denial. Your denial letter will include critical information, including:
- The reason Cigna denied the claim.
- The evidence they used to reach a decision.
- The employee who directly examined and evaluated the evidence.
- The date by which you must file an appeal and where to submit the appeal.
You will have only 180 days within which to appeal Cigna’s decision. The most important thing you can know about your appeal is that this is your last opportunity to present new evidence. After your appeal is filed, even if the case goes to court eventually, no new evidence can be submitted.
Deceptive Cigna Practices
ERISA has made it so that there is little incentive for an insurance company to play by the rules. If an insurance provider resorts to unfair practices with the goal of rejecting your claim, there is no punishment. They would only have to pay out what they owed you in the first place.
It has been frequently alleged in litigation that deceptive practices may be used by major players in the insurance industry. This means that without qualified legal advice to guide you, there are serious disadvantages for you, the claimant, and many advantages for the insurance company.
Get Help From Experienced Cigna Claim Attorneys
Even when disability claims are denied by the insurance provider, you may have a strong case that can be won on appeal or through litigation. However, there are strict deadlines to be met to appeal. To clarify all of these issues, we offer free individual consultations.
For over 18 years, the law firm of Marc Whitehead & Associates has focused its practice on federal ERISA law. The knowledge and background of your attorney can mean the difference between winning and losing a case.
If you have questions, please ask our lawyers about your Cigna long-term disability denial claim without delay. In most cases, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that if you hire us as your disability attorneys, no retainer is required and there are no fees until we win. Call today at 800-562-9830.