Daily Buzz – Unum

Who am I talking to anyway?

Insureds and claimants report seeing different numbers showing up on their phones for verbal “interviews.” Although most Unum insureds are used to seeing the Maine area code of 207, area codes such as 617 and others are coming up on caller IDs. My guess is that Unum is once again outsourcing administrative work to other companies and agencies. DCS, Inc. recommends that all communications should be in writing anyway, therefore there is no need to be “watching the phone” to find out if Unum is calling.

This is even more important today when Unum’s reps are looking for more reasons to deny claims. Today, claimants are probably unaware who is on the other line, particularly if it happens to be a HUB investigator. if you request all communications in writing, you’ll always know who you’re talking to!

GENEX

Speaking of phone calls….Unum insureds are receiving phone calls from GENEX, a company with a long on again, off again relationship with Unum. A decade ago, Unum used GENEX to assist claimants in obtaining SSDI, but also to conduct interviews, any occupation investigations and triage claim reviews. At the time it was surmised that GENEX was a fully owned subsidiary until regulators pointed out the conflict of interest.

It’s interesting to me that since then, the actual relationship of GENEX and Unum remains a mystery. Although attorneys tried to “follow the money” in order to discredit the company, it’s still not very clear who pays what company for which service.

Claimants are reporting to me that GENEX is selling its services to aid in the application of SSDI as a mandatory service offered by Unum. GENEX’ involvement in the SSDI application process is not sold by the company as an option or choice, but as a mandatory service. Cold calls from GENEX take claimants by surprise, and again they may find themselves buying into the service without realizing what they are getting in to.

No claimant is required to use GENEX in the SSDI application process, but you wouldn’t really know it. Claimants report multiple problems with GENEX to include, no attorney involvement, lack of communication, long application wait times, and general “bungling” of applications. DCS, Inc. doesn’t recommend GENEX at all since the company doesn’t really represent you, but Unum. What GENEX knows, Unum knows. Those who wish to keep their SSDI information private shouldn’t consider using GENEX at all.

It’s also my understanding that GENEX reviews Unum’s disability claims and is involved with providing other services in addition to SSDI assistance. Getting a cold call from GENEX is also a scary thing for those who may not know who the company  is.

DCS, Inc. recommends local, specialized SSDI attorneys who have knowledge of, and have worked with, county administrative SSDI judges in the state. There is no requirement that any claimant must use GENEX services, and “no”, you need not take their calls.

At one time Unum actually told claimants they would not allow a reduction of the 25% attorney fee in repayment calculations unless GENEX was used – an unfair and discriminative trade practice. To my knowledge Unum no longer does that, and claimants can choose who they want to represent them.

I recommend local experienced attorneys who represent YOU, not an outside third-party looking to benefit from an offset.

By the way, I don’t recommend ANY outside third-party for SSDI assistance. This includes Allsup and Advocator Group.