Thursday, December 27, 2012

Stalling Tactics To Avoid Appeal

Hi everyone!
     I hope you all are enjoying your holiday season. I know I have been doing my best to focus on family and friend gatherings and celebrations rather than typical daily life. However, I'm realizing that I can not simply stop working on important outstanding items so I'm rejoining the world today.

 It has been awhile since I've updated you about my insurance situation. When last I wrote, I spoke about ERISA and how the law is interpreted to give the client only 60 days to appeal a cancelation of benefits from long term disability companies. I also discussed how I sent in my appeal along with a second certified/signature required letter request for my entire case file to be sent to me within the month.

Yesterday marked day 20 of the insurance company signing for said letter and I have heard nothing. I decided to give them a call to check up on the progress of my request only to find out that although they had the letter in their system, and indeed signed for it 20 days ago, they did not have it marked as requiring any follow up. Therefore, for the last 20 days, the company has simply not been working on the request. According to the worker I spoke with (the one who signed the cancelation of benefits letter-- and sounded shocked to hear from me, but then smugly asked how my holiday was) they will send me all of the documentation I requested within 7-10 business days.  I'll believe it when I see it.

Just a reminder of why we need to follow up with companies even if we've gone to all the trouble to send certified letters requiring signatures.

This is not the first certified/signature required letter this company has actively avoided responding to, claiming it was mismarked in their computer system. Therefore, I'm 100% certain it's a common stalling tactic that they hope will cause the appeal to be sent in late, and allow the cancelation of benefits to stand uncontested.

I'm glad I sent the appeal in despite not having all of the information I requested, because at least the process has begun and I'm not panicking over when this box of documentation will arrive and if it will be complete. Let's say I receive the box of information at the 45 day mark-- what if it's not all there? How long would it take me or an attorney to accurately go through it?  Probably more than the week I would have left before I would need to send the appeal letter in and make sure it arrived before day 60.

At least this way, should this case go to court it is not an "easily dismissed on a technicality" situation now.

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