CIGNA Corporation Long Term Disability

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Cigna is a bunch of out right liars.
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In December we finished our battle with short term disability. My husband has Crohn's Disease that has been complicated with ongoing Pyoderma Gangrenosum. The battle took over 2 years between him trying to go back to work and Cigna's complete lack of professionalism handling his case.

Paper work was constantly lost, doctors phone calls were not returned, keeping us in the dark on what the needed to evaluate the case, and not returning our phone calls were more than a common practice. Somehow we got through.

We were recently contacted by there Life Insurance Department. They were going to do "Their own investigation, being that Long Term Disability had nothing to do with Life Insurance."

We sent out all of the recent records. Including the last colonoscopy (which was in July) and his last Dr. appointment(which was in December).

In the mean time Mike saw a new GI May 7th.

They denied our case saying that the information was not current enough. When asked if we can send in the May 7th narrative, we were told it was too late.

We just received the LTD check which was 1/2 the amount it should be. When asked why we were told the case was re-evaluated when the evaluated the Life Insurance because all departments are connected.

They have received 3 different narratives from 3 different doctors in the passed 7 months stating that if Mike should return to work he will ultimately lose his limb. This prognosis will never change. Both diseases are chronic and debilitating.

Apparently since we called the day before the letter was sent out of denial for LTD they will do another review. I asked why we were not notified of the review and why no one called to say they needed further documentation. I got no answer. Mike asked how often they believe someone should get a colonoscopy? He got no answer.

I am tired of there unethical antics. I pray that they come under review. Our house is for sale, we sold the car, and are living in my inlaws basement. I hold them personally responsible for our financial downfall. Not to mention the sleepless nights and emotional stress they have put on us.
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spiderman2 on 05/27/2010:
Can the doctors make a direct connection between the two disease? I looked up the Pyoderma Gangrenosum and it says it is rarely fatal but is mainly found in people with suppressed immune systems. I know what Crohns' is and does because I have it too. My heart goes out to both of you and I wish you the best of luck. That being said, I can see where a doctor's report from December might raise a flag from them. I thankfully have my disease fairly controlled at this point, but I still go to the GI every 3-4 months and get scoped every other year.
kimberlie on 05/27/2010:
They are directly related. A wound care Dr. said Pyoderma is doing the same thing on his leg that CD is doing to his intestines. It is rarely fatal, but amputation is a real part of it. Mike just got home from a scope today, his last one was 10 months ago. He gets them done once a year. We did not know we needed to go to the GI every 3-4 months. Short term always phoned saying they needed more reports. We will not make that mistake again. I am sorry you have CD too. I am glad yours is under control.
spiderman2 on 05/27/2010:
I hope you get what you need from the doctors and the insurance. I googled the term and saw the pictures and my first thought was "that's what Crohns does to your insides." Its very scary. Anyone who has their health is truly lucky. Don't take it for granted! I truly hope it works out for you.
kimberlie on 06/04/2010:
They have denied his claim. Told me a Dr. staffed it. They lied. The denial is ridiculous. Now our claim manager will not answer my questions. She put me through to her managers voice mail. The same manager who lied about the Dr..
kimberlie on 06/08/2010:
I removed my youtube videos of this company. I am putting them back on youtube plus the video of them refusing to speak to me because I am recording them. If this company was doing the right thing per their customers, why is there a fear of being recorded?
madconsumer on 06/08/2010:
in some states, non consent to tape cannot be held up in court.
kimberlie on 06/08/2010:
Nothing can be held up in court with the insurance companies. You cannot sue for any type of damages. I am recording so we can keep track of the lies, and let the public know what they are paying for. Disability seems to be a deposit only type of business. Do not get sick. You are on your own. Youtube kimike1000
kimberlie on 07/08/2010:
We are proceeding with an attorney. I think people should be aware that when you request your file from Cigna (which they legally have to turn over) they will send you a bogus file first. They only sent the real file after they were alerted that we had contacted an attorney.
They also did another really sneaky thing, they had their Doctor (whom by the way teaches seminars on how to deny disability and insurance claims) evaluate Mike's case after they had made the determination. I think they did this because we have them on tape stating that the case was evaluated by a Dr., when in fact it was done by a nurse. This company is so corrupt.
raven2010 on 07/08/2010:
Good luck with your issues. I hope your attorney has advised you to STOP discussing this publicly, especially in writing.
kimberlie on 07/08/2010:
Raven, why would my attorney do that, when I am discussing the truth?
spiderman2 on 07/08/2010:
Kimberlie -- any attorney worth the money you are paying him doesn't want you to make public statements. Most will tell you to discuss your case with no one. Things you say and write can easily be miscontrued and taken out of context. trust me on this one, Cigna's lawyers will use your words against you in any way they can.
kimberlie on 07/08/2010:
Spiderman, How much Cigna has taken from us, let them sue me. I have nothing left. I look at it this way, if I can help someone through our experience that is one more person the wiser. We would have been better off burning the money then paying Cigna for the passed 18 years. Thank you for your concern, but I want people to know the truth.
jktshff1 on 07/08/2010:
What spider and raven said.
kimberlie on 07/08/2010:
OK, so it is better to be afraid of Cigna then to make people aware of what Cigna is doing. WOW, I guess I should have done more research about what this consumer site is about.
spiderman2 on 07/09/2010:
Kimberlie -- I'm not saying that Cigna didn't treat you poorly. I was just trying to tell you something that I learned from my 17 years of working in the legal field about lawyers and lawsuits and how things work. Its advice, even if it isn't what you want to hear and it isn't given out of meanspirtedness. Take it or leave it, it doesn't matter to me anymore.
kimberlie on 07/09/2010:
I thanked you for your concern.
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Cigna Mishandling Of Disability Claims
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Rating: 1/51
PENNSYLVANIA -- Regulatory Settlement Agreement:
An extensive investigation regarding the long term disability claims handling practices of CIGNA Insurance Company began in September 2009 and was concluded with the signing of a Regulatory Settlement Agreement (“CIGNA Agreement”) on May 13, 2013.
In this agreement CIGNA is also required to abide by new claims handling procedures which require CIGNA to give greater weight to Social Security Disability Benefit Approval Findings and take every reasonable step to verify a claimant’s disabling condition. CIGNA is also required to use independent doctors to evaluate claims and they cannot bonus any employees based upon the number of claims denied. CIGNA will be subject to constant monitoring by the states investigators and must meet with investigators quarterly to report on the number of previously denied claims that have been reversed and the implementation of the new claim handling procedures. - See more at:
CIGNA in their settlement agreement dated May 13, 2013 did not follow the agreed to Enhanced Claim Procedures in the handling of my Long term Disability claim for symptoms and the problems associated with my diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
CIGNA wrongfully terminating my LTD claim, CIGNA supported a finding of disability before the Social Security Administration (SSA), and then disregarded the SSA's finding of disability.
My LTD benefits were approved by CIGNA personnel on January 13, 2014. I became entitled to monthly SSDI benefits beginning July 2014. On October 14, 2014 I received a letter from CIGNA stating I had 30 days to provide requested information. My LTD benefits were canceled on October 23, 2014. Seven (7) working days after the letter was sent out the decision was made that I was no longer eligible for LTD benefits under my plan. Within a 10 month time frame they tell me I am eligible under my STD and LTD plan for benefits, they help me with my SSDI claim which was approved, they then inform me of a review and give me 30 days to comply, they make a decision 7 working days later that I am no longer disabled. CIGNA’s did not comply with its own deadline.
My Social Security Disability Income awarded was not given significant weight. I was not given any information on the basis for determining the weight of my award and its relevance. The only thing I was told about SSDI was that they had confirmed that all available medical information was received based on my notification of benefits and a call to me asking if independent testing by SSA had been done. CIGNA has not explained why it discounted my SSA decision supporting my disability.
CIGNA provided me with the resources to prove to the government that I am permanently disabled. Then they promptly and surreptitiously cancel my benefits and claim I am not disabled and I am capable of working.
CIGNA made no attempt to resolve discrepancies in medical statements or conclusions. I am at a loss to understand how the review team at CIGNA came to the conclusion that my Parkinson’s disease has reversed its progression and that I am now better that I was at the beginning of the year. This conclusion does not align with what I have learned or experienced since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It also does not align with what is on the CIGNA website “Parkinson’s is Progressive, which means it gets worse over time.”
CIGNA did not at any time during the review process ask me for any of my own statements regarding my disease and its progression. I could not find where my claim manager had ever reviewed my reporting of symptoms. I do not believe that all my conditions were considered.
My claim manager did not seek any further clarification from my physicians even though my records indicated additional symptoms. I could not find where any attempt was made to clarify the functional discrepancies between the CIGNA reviewers and my treating physicians.
We are working through the CIGNA labyrinth of paperwork and filing an appeal. I just hope that this information gets out and something is done to protect the consumer.
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Waiting to find out if they extended Long Term Disability
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I am coming to the end of the 2 yrs. that I have been on Long Term and waiting to hear if they are going to extend the benefit. They hired a company that sent me to an IME (independent medical examiner). I had someone take me to the IME and they sat in the room with me. One of the questions this Dr asked me was if I had a lawyer. I wondered what this had to do with medical services. I was very taken back. The Dr made a decision in less than 20 mins. How does a Dr make a decision without a physical or see your Dr records? I called the case worker to let them know what I thought about this IME and they said they had my medical records. Is there not this thing called HIPA where I have to authorize who sees my medical records? Anyway I looked up the company that Cigna paid for this IME. It gave a lot of information. Like how the company sends the IME false documents and also since the IME is hired by this other company to stay in good standing so they continue to get business from this company the IME lies about things. There were a few things that came to my attention during this IME visit that did not sit well. I thought Drs which this IME is take an ethics code when they become Drs? I brought what went on to my primary care Dr and he stated that the IME lied to me. I already knew that. Cigna hires these companies that hire IMEs to get you off the books. That is what my Dr said to me. Cigna has yet to let me know if they are extending my benefits. I have done everything they wanted. My stress level is up worrying if I am going to be able to pay bills. I hate the helpless feeling and never did I think I would be in this position in my life. So here I sit to hear if I will be able to pay bills or if I have to let things go that I worked so hard to get before this disability came up. I know my caseworker doesn't understand all this. They still have a job that they can go to. They aren't worrying about helping people. Hard working people that fell on a bad moment in their lives. Their job is to get rid of people off their books. I wonder how they are trained for that? Is it lose your compassion for others training? I hope one day the people who work for the company Cigna hired, the IME, and the case worker have to go through this in their lives and see it from the other side. How humiliating it is to have to depend on others to determine if you will get a check to help pay your bills. Being disabled and not being able to work was not what I wanted in my life it just happened.
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Starlord on 02/09/2010:
I was taught if you are going to use an abbreviation to first spell it out if it is not a standard abbreviation. I am on So-so Security Disability, and I have never heard of this IME. Does that mean Independent Medical Examiner? I have been sent to a doctor every three years since I got hurt, and I may have to see one more before I turn 65, when the SSDI reverts to standard Social Security benefits. I believe it was my employer's insurance company that flew me back to San Diego for testing. They stated that there was no doubt about my injury, as revealed by the computerized testing machines.
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Excuses and Covert Harassment
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I had an EEOC claim against CIGNA. I have called and written MANY times to no avail. It's been there since 2000 and not a word. Here's the gist.

CIGNA sent me for 2 psychiatric IMEs when I first put forth my claim. 1 shrink did CIGNA's bidding but was shot down by my doctors, psychologist, and neuropsych tests and brain scans.

The second shrink NEVER sent CIGNA his report despite his outright rudeness to me. And here's the kicker. My doctor treats over 2,000 CFIDS patients and is very politically active, as much as possible. Sitting in her office one day guess who came walking out of my doctor's office??? This second shrink and his daughter. I thought he was going to faint when he saw me. When I mentioned it to my doctor she said his daughter has CFIDS and he was unable to find a doctor UNTIL HE SAW ME. However, he used his daughter's problems to qualify him as a "CFIDS expert." My doctor had words with him and then refused to send his writeup to CIGNA.

I happened to speak to the other people in my illness cluster and NONE of them went for psych IMES despite all 3 of these people being treated for MAJOR DEPRESSION. I was in counseling due to my infertility treatment with a psychologist who specialized in infertility related counseling. Not depression! When I asked CIGNA why I was the ONLY one (as my investigation turned up) sent for these IMEs I received no less than 3 nasty letters from CIGNA and their supervisors basically saying 'we are paying you, what more do you want?' Yeah, I only got paid after 2 of us sent letters to the President of CIGNA and SUDDENLY I was sent for IMEs after my first check came. Hmmmmm.

My doctor put forward that these IMEs constitutes "Disparate Treatment". CIGNA said that there were things specific to my claim. They refused to tell me or my doctors what these things were!

THE ONLY DIFFERENCES ARE: I was the first claimant, the youngest claimant and the most vocal when payment was seriously delayed. My doctor said that I was in counseling as a normal part of infertility treatment (which I stopped when I got sick). So unless they "Feel infertility is a MENTAL illness and not, as the Federal Government agrees, is an organic problem and a legitimate disability unconnected to her CFIDS" that CIGNA "acted in a manner so as to punish (me) for simply seeking benefits."

Later, when the time came for CIGNA to withhold my checks as part of their pay back for SSDI - they OVERESTIMATED what I owe them. They would not answered mine or my legal aide's letters or calls.

Now, I only get COLA adjustments every 2 or 3 years not yearly as I should. I wrote twice this past year asking them to review their payments to me and to bring my COLA and guess what? They have since refused to reply. I'm afraid going to my State Insurance Department will trigger more "reviews" for me.

And apparently, a big company like CIGNA "does not have the capability to make direct deposits of my paltry LTD checks to my bank account." Are they kidding? Since my case has been moved around to FOUR different offices in the last 10 years you'd think they'd join the 21st Century and offer direct deposit to those of us who are permanently disabled. NO. Not CIGNA.
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madconsumer on 07/19/2009:
what is :

infertility can be brought on by mental stress and upset. is this really a 9 year old claim?
madmary8343 on 07/26/2013:
My Disability is NOT related to infertility.

Independent Medical Exam (IME)
Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction (CFIDS)

Now it's more than 9 years old. CIGNA tried to say it was infertility related. It's not. My doctor has the tests to prove it but CIGNA couldn't care less.
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Battle for what's deserved
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ILLINOIS -- I to was denied a few times so I got an attorney an after a couple of months was finally awarded my disability. I have several things wrong starting with failed lumbar surgery, serious multi level disc disease which inc's 12 disc degenerated, bulged, fused and failed, 8 in my back and 4 in my neck. I also have osteoporosis, osteoarthritist, both elbows have had upper lateral release due to severe tendonitis. also very depressed over all I have been through. I was awarded social security when the judge reviewed my medical history, did not have to go to court at all for that. Now cigna called me today and advised they are terminating my claim because a fuctional capacity test says I can still do something out there. which also was a joke, they said I sat for an hour an did not act like it bothered me but he wasn't even in the room for 15 maybe 20 minutes, had he been he would have seen me stand a couple times to stretch an even move the chair back and get on my knees to complete there paper work. it's a joke and a game for them to denie everyone without just cause. had four Dr's to advise I am 100% disabled, 2 I never met before in my life an a judge to award my SS just by looking at my records. I take 100MG of morphine twice a day, 5 to 6 lortabs a day, valium to help to sleep an relax and cymbalta for depression. Also I have worked since I was 12 years old and never stopped until I just could not go any more. time to put a end to this injustice and I need help from the best because on behalf of all of us true victims, we need justice once an for all. HG
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Starlord on 07/08/2010:
If you were given your SSDI benefits from the SSA, Cigne can go pee up a rope, they have nothing to do with the SSDI and Medicare. Find a good SO-so Security lawyer and BATTLE for your rights. I had to fight for three years before an Administrative Law Judge decided with my age, education and health problems, my chances of landing any meaningful work were slim to none. He ordered SSA to give me my benefits.
kimberlie on 07/08/2010:
Geman, cigna is one of the most horrid companies I have ever dealt with. Make sure you are keeping good notes, and if you are appealing, make sure when you request your information you make it clear, THIS IS NOT YOUR APPEAL. They try to make any request the appeal so you lose valuable time. I would contact an attorney in your area. Cigna works as a monthly review company, even on long term disability, so the fight is never ending. I would from here on make sure you have everything in writting from them, not bothering with telephone conversations. The reps are just full of crap anyway. You paid into your disability and you deserve to have what you were contracted. Unfortunately Cigna is so corrupt they do not care about the people who pay the premiums. They operate as a "donate only" company. I wish you luck. I know how hard it is. We taped them for a while. It is on youtube kimike1000. I have more videos but they have our personal information. They will not speak to us anymore unless we agree not to tape. I say, what are you hiding? If they were an honest company, they would not care.
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Cigna Long Term Disability and Social Security Disability
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DALLAS, TEXAS -- If you make it through the process of fighting for Short Term Disability and have recently been approved for Long Term, Cigna's attorney's are going to call. They are going to ask you to allow their attorney to fight for YOUR Social Security Disability. TELL THEM NO.

This is a huge conflict of interest. They will use any and all information to deny your disability claim. They have absolutely no problem with denying your claim even if Social Security Disability approves you.

Remember this, Cigna is not here to help you. They do not want to pay your claim. Their goal is to make it as difficult as they can for you. Ultimately they want you to give up fighting them, so they do not have to pay. There is even a term for one of their tactics, "slow walking". We all know this one. Losing paper work, not returning doctors phone calls, not returning your phone calls, asking for things to be faxed three times etc.

Do yourself a huge favor, make Cigna send you EVERYTHING in writing. They are very good in not telling the truth. If it is in writing you have proof.

Always remember, the wolf does not do the pigs a favor, especially when offering an attorney. Cigna wants to scare you into submission. You are ill, and you paid your premiums. Cigna is a company that does not hold up to their contractual obligations. The fight is long, but right is right.
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ryan on 01/25/2014:
Actually, disability companies offer SSSI assistance for free to the claimant and it benefits the company for SSSI to be awarded because the government then pays the benefits and the disability company is essentially off the hook. So, sure, spend your own limited funds on a lawyer who may or may not get the same result, but will surely expect a fee... Or use a service contracted by the disability company with a high success rate of moving claims to the government's books.
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Think twice before offering Cigna Disability to your employees
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If you are a corporation looking for a diasability company, think twice about Cigna.
As a company you want to take care of the people who make your business work. You want your employees to be protected if anything should happen to them.
Cigna is not going to take care of your employees. They are going to deny their disability claims no matter what the medical professionals state. They are going to tie your employees up in lawyer fees to fight their just claims.

Do yourself a favor, if you care about the people who make your business work, do not use Cigna for disability. They are disabling.
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Skye on 06/14/2010:
Disability claim lawyers, work on a contingency. No money up front. Sounds like it's time to do battle with Cigna. Of course they do not want to pay. You must pay the policy premiums, on time of course, but don't you dare file a claim for anything.Their motto is, keep the money flowing in, but NEVER let any money flow out of the company. Sounds right.
kimberlie on 06/14/2010:
You are 100% right. Went to 2 doctors today, both are disgusted on how Cigna handles their disability claims. ERISA needs to be revised for the people who are paying the premiums. The consumers have no rights. People should be aware that what they are paying for is a fraud.
tom on 07/17/2012:
Cigna will distort your doctor's notes, either out of malice or incompetence, deny claims, cost consumers thousands in legal fees. AVOID THIS COMPANY!!!
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Screwed by Cigna for many years
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I had LTD through work and needed to file from a back injury. My company did not help me to obtain benefits either. After many years of perseverance, doctors' reports, and three denials for initial coverage, I was given back pay for four years and put on ltd.Four years later they dumped me even tho my doctor says otherwise. Nothing changed in my medical situation. I was and still am on social security. I take 360 mg of oxycontin a day along with norco, fentora, and a whole slew of others. No mention of meds in the IME report. That "doc" was a joke. He had not treated a real person in decades. So they dropped me. I got an attorney who filed appeal. Cigna wrote to say they needed 45 more days to finish. Cigna never responded to my appeal. At a certain point we filed in federal court. Cigna does not want the case held in NY where my attorneys work. At one of the first meetings, they asked to change venue.

My attorneys were awarded the opportunity for discovery at court. Now I wait to see what happens.
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ejack053824 on 12/09/2007:
Good idea to have your attorneys involved. Insurance companies will try to weasel out of paying if they see a loophole.
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