Policyholders affected by the CIGNA Regulatory Settlement Agreement (RSA) between several state’s Insurance Commissioners and Cigna need to take a long deep breath before signing any agreement. The settlement may actually be a bad thing for their individual claims.
The CIGNA companies include the following: Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA” and Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (“CGLIC”).
The RSA requires CIGNA to change how it handles claims, to reevaluate claims that were previously denied, to pay fines and to have their claims practices be monitored. The state Insurance Commissioners involved were from Maine, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Most states have now become part of this agreement.
However, this agreement is not a slam dunk for CIGNA policyholders whose claims were denied or terminated during the scope of time detailed in the settlement.
Just as most legal settlements contain language that requires the signer to relinquish and waive their right to bring further legal action, the CIGNA Regulatory Settlement contains language that removes the right for the claimant to ever litigate ANY claims against the company, and releases CIGNA from any future liability regarding denial or termination of benefits.
Losing the ability to appeal or litigate a future claim is a dangerous agreement if you are still on claim.
The language of the settlement between the insurance commissioners and CIGNA is just as complex, loaded with legalese and as dense as any long-term disability insurance policy.
Before signing any agreement relating to a disability insurance company, a CIGNA policyholder should have an experienced disability lawyer review the agreement. They will be able to explain the language in plain English and determine whether the short term benefits justify the long term impact of the settlement. You may still wish to sign the agreement – but you will know what it is you have signed.