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An article appearing in the Chattanooga newspaper by Edward Murphy indicates Unum laid off 30 workers in Portland because “Unum is beefing up services such as leave management for companies, new group voluntary benefits and also its relatively new dental and vision insurance packages”, a spokesperson said.

Unum’s layoffs shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone since the company has had regular firings for the last five years. In fact, all major claims review processes have been outsourced to other facilities. Claims personnel were working from home remotely before COVID became an issue. Personnel also reported that it seemed as though Unum was getting rid of entire departments a little bit at a time so as not to alarm employees.

In the end, Unum had regular firings, mostly due to minor infractions such as alleged misuse of company phones and not taking care of “flups” on a regular basis. This has been going on for the last five years at least. Terminated employees who called me reported being set up with projects they couldn’t possibly finish. When Unum wants to downsize, they usually “terminate” rather than lay off.

The article went on to say “Laid-off” workers have received 60 days notice and their benefits will be covered through the end of November. Those laid off also will be offered career transition services.” Does that sound like a lay-off or termination? Sounds like employees are gone forever.

Unum’s history with new products isn’t good either. The company’s Long-Term Care product failed miserably and Unum barely missed being criminally charged in California for manipulating inflation factors. Seems very familiar with today’s multiple recalculations of SSDI and overpayments, something I’ve referred to as “nickel and diming.”

If Unum is unable to fairly adjudicate its disability policies why would anyone presume that dental and vision would be any better, or critical care? Apparently, these additional products are included with some of Unum’s Employer Group Products that require contributory payments of premium from employees.

During COVID, Unum’s Customer Service is non-existent, not unlike most other insurers. But, requests for the same information over and over again along with claims of not receiving information doesn’t encourage faith in the company to operate its claims process efficiently.

In conclusion, Unum has been down sizing for the last five years, so at least in my mind the article’s suggestion that the lay-off is new is misleading. I’m now wondering just how bad Unum’s claims process is going to get.