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ACC's favourite insurer caned again This outfit "assists" ACC and WINZ too

#1 User is offline   MG 

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:44 PM

A US Federal appeal court recently overturned a lower court decision upholding UNUM Provident's decision to stop paying disability benefits under an insurance policy taken out by a big US financial corporation (the nice people who brought you the Great Financial Crash of 2008. For further details, just ask that nice Mr Key at Parliament to tell you all about it). The appeal Court also overturned the lower court approval of UNUM's bid to claw back payments it made to the appellant, a former worker at Morgan Stanley, and force her into bankruptcy. The appeal court found that UNUM, which administered the claim under its insurance contract with Morgan Stanley, had not done so in good faith. Of interest to readers of this site, is UNUM's decision letter declining entitlements and giving review rights (almost identical to ACC's letters), together with its tactics once Ms Bilyeu applied for review of that decision. A lot of the judgment is technical, and focused on the minutiae of US disability insurance law (under a nightmare statute they have, called ERISA), and of little interest to NZ readers, but the decision is useful because it tells us how profit-hungry insurers can use legal technicalities to defeat claims and hammer people with disabilities (see the dissenting judgment in Bilyeu for an example). Another lesson from this decision is indirect: UNUM plays a big role in the UK, where it not only gets paid for its "advice" on cutting welfare benefits to the sick and disabled, it also gets paid for running private companies that conduct the medical assessments, and it pays for a university department that manufactures a lot of the "evidence" used by politicians and bureaucrats (and insurers, too) to justify cutting those benefits. As a result, huge sums of taxpayers money are shifted, from the poor (sick and disabled) to the rich (insurers, doctors, bureaucrats, etc). In NZ, "research" produced by people in the pay of UNUM, and other insurers, is used by ACC and WINZ bosses (the members of the infamous "Welfare Working Group" [sic] now feed from public troughs at both outfits, as they sit on the board of each. WINZ's board (actually Ministry of Social Development, WINZ's bureaucratic superior) alone costs us $1.4 million each year. Its advice is already being felt, as sickness and invalid beneficiaries are having their weekly income cut, or stopped altogether, after a UNUM-fed doctor reports that there is nothing wrong with them. Cases like Bilyeu show us how powerful, and malevolent, corporations like UNUM are, while other news shows us how far their reach extends. ACC invested in UNUM, bought its computer software packages, and applies its repertory of dirty tricks against claimants in NZ. However, NZers shafted by ACC, according to the UNUM playbook (and soon to be shafted by WINZ according to the same playbook, updated by the nice people at Cardiff University) cannot take legal action against those responsible for shafting them, because Mrs Windsor's Judges don't like the idea of proles pointing the finger at fat cats (See: JAG Griffiths, "The Politics of the Judiciary" for the general idea). The US case is attached: Bilyeu v. Morgan Stanley Long Term Disability Plan, 683 F. 3d 1083 - Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit 2012

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#2 User is offline   not their victim 

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 03:43 PM

http://www.policymic...s-city-and-town
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#3 User is offline   DARRELLGEMMA 

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 04:12 PM

That is outstanding & brilliant. What a great case indeed.
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