New York Life Insurance Company purchased Cigna Disability Insurance in 2020, and the company also owns LINA – Life Insurance Company of North America, one of CIGNA’s subsidiaries.  After decades of representing Cigna claimants and New York Life claimants, disability insurance attorney Jason Newfield was not surprised when, not long after the acquisition of Cigna, there was an increase in the number of people calling to find out why their claims were being reviewed, denied, or terminated.

When New York Life acquired Cigna’s Group Life and Disability Insurance business, millions of disability policies became legacy policies.   The financial transaction needed to pay off. 

When an insurance company buys another insurance company, the policies sold by the acquired company are explored to how new “best practices” can be implemented by the new insurance company. Internal audits are done to see which claims are too costly to continue paying and which are likely to be easily terminated to limit the company’s financial exposure.  Even though New York Life is not a public company, it is still a for profit business, to the detriment of claimants.   

If your New York Life or Cigna long term disability insurance claim has been denied, you should take the time to speak with an experienced long term disability insurance attorney at the Newfield Law Group. You can reach us at 877-406-7883
 to discuss how we can help. 

Whether you have a New York Life, LINA, or a Cigna long term disability insurance claim, you may have experienced the tactics of the company in denying, delaying, or terminating claims.

Missing Information or Your Messages Getting Lost

We advise claimants to document the delivery of every single piece of information submitted to the insurance company. If materials are sent by email, request a received and read notice from your email system and print them out. If a treating physician is sending reports, ask to be copied on the email, if that is how they are being sent, or offer to pay for them to be sent via express mail requiring a signature on delivery. 

These are massive companies with many different offices, so even in the best of circumstances it is possible for materials to genuinely be lost. It is also possible, in our experience, for a suspiciously large number of materials to be lost by insurance companies. This is why everything must be documented. Never send originals; you’ll never see them again.

If you leave a voicemail message for a claims adjuster, don’t expect the call to be returned. You may be told your claim has been moved to a different claims adjuster, or the office is working remotely, or any one of many reasons why your call wasn’t returned. Just keep calling.

When you speak with anyone, make notes of the day, date, and time you called, get the person’s complete name, their title, their direct dial or extension and their email address. Write down, in as detailed a manner as possible, the nature of the call, what you are told by the claims representative. If you’re not able to do this, ask a trusted and responsible friend or family member to be part of the call and have them take notes.

Using Your Medical Records Against You

New York Life insurance has a reputation for treating disability claimant’s medical records as a weapon against their claim. As if losing documents wasn’t enough, the company-paid reviewing doctor or nurse is often given only a part of your medical record and they are tasked to make a diagnosis of your disability from limited materials. New York Life also is known to ask for more information than is needed to approve claims, delaying paying benefits in the hope a claimant will give up.  

Denying a claim because you didn’t provide enough medical evidence after you and your doctors have sent every possible piece of medical tests, records, diagnostics, images, etc., occurs enough times for us to see this as one of New York Life’s strategies to deny claims.

Failing to Meet the Definition of Disability 

Every policy is different, even when they are ERISA Group disability insurance policies. Your policy is a contract between you and the insurance company and one of the many provisions –which may be difficult to understand, as the contracts are not written for easy understanding —is a definition of what New York Life considers being disabled. This is why you need an experienced long term New York Life disability insurance attorney. They can review your policy to get a clear understanding of what the company considers meeting the criteria for being disabled. 

You may also have a residual provision in your disability insurance policy that would allow you to make a partial claim on your policy; this is when you have the ability to work, but at a lesser capacity. These are more often seen in privately purchased or individually owned disability policies, but an attorney will know what to look for in the policy and how to evaluate whether or not this might be an option for you.

Can I Handle an Appeal for a New York Life Disability Insurance Policy Denial Myself? 

Unfortunately, the insurance company has made it extremely difficult for regular people to overcome disability denials. An ERISA appeal of a denial or termination is a heavy lift, with lots of important pieces to put together to have success.  Having a New York Life disability attorney represent you could make the difference in getting the benefits you paid for taken care of or struggling to figure out how to keep your household going.

There are strict rules and deadlines about what you can or cannot do when submitting an ERISA appeal that go beyond the number of days noted on your denial letter. Sending the same materials, without seeing additional doctors, obtaining an accurate vocational assessment, or getting specific tests for your condition, is not likely to succeed.  We help put this project together and orchestrate all of the parts for success.

How the Newfield Law Group helps when New York Life/CIGNA Denies Disability Claims

Disability attorney Jason Newfield has helped claimants at every stage of the denial process when New York Life has wrongfully denied disability claims, both ERISA group and private policy claims. His knowledge and experience benefits clients who are able to focus on their health instead of battling with large insurance companies. 

Attorney Newfield can help if you or a loved one:

  • Has not filed a claim yet and is finding the idea of filing a claim overwhelming or wants information about the process and expectations.
  • Has filed a claim and is getting voluminous requests for more information. 
  • Has filed a claim and has been told to have an IME –“Independent” Medical Exam by a physician who is paid by the insurance company.
  • Has filed a claim and has been denied a claim.
  • Has tried to file an appeal unsuccessfully.
  • Wants to negotiate a settlement.
  • Needs to take their disability insurance company to court.

We invite you to call the office at 877-406-7883 with any questions about your disability insurance policy claim. New York Life/CIGNA disability insurance attorney Jason Newfield has represented many claimants and will provide a free consultation, drawing on more than two decades of experience.  Let him guide you through this difficult process.