Friday, October 31, 2008

Insurance Abuse by the Insurer - A Case of Corporate GREED

Originally posted on my forum September 27, 2007 and serves as a primary reason we must move away from an insurance based healhcare system. Unfortunately my story is neither an unique or isolated incident. It is the rule not the exception.

This past Saturday my family received some devastating financial news that makes my previous post about a PALS family's financial destruction seem like I have Nostradamus like vision. This news in the form of a letter from the insurance company handling my long-term disability income which informed me that after 13 years they had miscalculated my already small $757 benefit and it really should be $239. Now, I am sure you are asking yourself while this is unfortunate for Jeff's family why this is significant and why does this totally expose the insurance industry for what it really is? It is in the reason given for the miscalculation and reduction. The reason they claim they overpaid me is that they didn't reduce my disability income when we had children and my children received their Social Security benefit under my number to help with their care. I want to restate this in clearer terms. Essentially this GREEDY insurance company is saying that if my wife and I were childless there would be no problem with my benefit but since we DARED to have children and the government decided to help disabled parents by providing a modest benefit to help with our children's care they deserve to reduce my benefit by the same amount thus making the children's benefit moot and saving the greedy insurance company money. This is counter-intuitive and against every policy our government has to try to assist families. My family's story is a prime example of what is so incredibly wrong with our insurance industry! As an extra kick in the teeth after they knocked my family down, the insurance company claims despite it being their mistake that I OWE THEM over $65,000 and further that they will withhold the severely reduced benefit until I repay them which will take nearly 30 years if I should be fortunate enough to live that long. The result of this unjust money grab by the insurance company will be that my family will lose our home which we were just able to purchase one year ago despite the financial restraints of my disability. My wife and I have prided ourselves that we have overcome every obstacle my disease has put in our path including helping other families to learn to live with ALS but the insurance company has placed an obstacle in our path to high that we can not overcome it and which threatens to destroy my family. To everyone here, my family and I respectfully ask for any advice you may have for us to overcome this obstacle and save our family home.

Postscript: In March 2008, we did lose our home because along with the theft of the insurance company, the economic meltdown had severely weakened the family's printing business so that Lisa was no longer able to work from home for it. This 50% loss in income not only forced us from our but also to completely leave the area we had lived in for fourteen years to a town two hours away.

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