The “Hungry Vulture” has indeed raised its ugly head again while nearing 3rd Qtr. profitability results. Physicians’ offices have been contacting me to say, ” This request isn’t going to happen. The doctor and I are both out of the office and we won’t have paperwork ready when Unum wants it. Handle it, Linda.”
While initially Unum seemed to be taking the “high road” of congeniality during COVID, the company now appears to be trying to make up for lost time. Treating physicians are getting tired of Unum’s letters carrying a big-stick, and in some cases are ready to throw patients under the bus.
At the same time, I’m also noticing that insureds and claimants have become more complacent in “doing what Unum wants” rather than officially placing their point of view into the record. I’ve written many blog articles on the detriments of “fear” and how destructive it is to the claims process. Still today, many insureds are quickly overcome with fear, which of course, is of tremendous benefit to Unum (or, any other insurer.)
The fact is that insurers are gearing up for 3rd Qtr. profitability results and are requesting medical updates, questionnaires, field visits and in the case of Prudential, IMEs. Insureds need to be on top of things in the next 30 days and be willing to challenge out of contract requests and harassment of treating physicians.
This is not the time to be passive with unfair claims practices and bad faith. The next 30 days will be crucial.