Thrivent denies 96 year old Elaine Tollefson assisted living help, Paid on policy 26 years, Fine print and appeal panel denial, What happened to spirit of law and Christianity?
“Since 1999, Thrivent has required that disputes with members related to insurance products be resolved through its Member Dispute Resolution Program (“MDRP”). (See Johnston Decl. ¶ 9.) The MDRP provides for a multi-tiered dispute resolution process, escalating eventually (if necessary) to binding arbitration based on the rules of the American Arbitration Association. (See id., Ex. B at § 11(c).) Of particular relevance to this matter, the MDRP mandates that all mediation or arbitration be individual in nature—representative or class claims of any sort, whether arbitral or judicial, are expressly barred. (See id., Ex. B at § 11(e).) Thrivent contends that its commitment to individual arbitration is “important to the membership because it reflects Thrivent’s Christian Common Bond, helps preserve members’ fraternal relationships, and avoids protracted and adversarial litigation that could undermine Thrivent’s core mission.”…Thrivent v. Acosta Nov. 3, 2017
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”…Matthew 7:15
“Our right to our day in court has been severely eroded.”…Citizen Wells
From the Star Tribune.
“Insurance policy’s fine print trumps 96-year-old’s good faith
On her 96th birthday earlier this month, Elaine Tollefson celebrated with a visit from out-of-town grandkids to her home, an assisted living center in central Nebraska.
But there’s one birthday present she still wants from Minneapolis-based Thrivent Financial: Checks to help defray the cost of that home.
Tollefson has paid the monthly premiums on her long-term care insurance policy for 26 years. In April, Thrivent told Tollefson that she cannot collect any benefits because she did not follow her policy’s protocol of spending three days in the hospital first.
It’s a requirement no longer allowed in Nebraska, but policies that predated that law change are still valid. Like many people with long-term care policies, Tollefson learned the hard way that the help wasn’t there when she needed it.”
“For Tollefson, the insurer was more than just another company. When her husband bought their policies in 1988, he was actively involved in what was then known as Lutheran Brotherhood. Though Thrivent Financial dropped “for Lutherans” from its name earlier this year, it remains a not-for-profit membership organization, despite its Fortune 500 listing and $6.9 billion surplus generated last year. Its motto is “Connecting faith and finances for good.”
After growing up in southwestern Minnesota, Tollefson married a man named Aad (pronounced “odd”), though everyone called him Tolley. He was a chemist who worked on the Manhattan Project and then for DuPont, which transferred him all over the country. The Tollefsons had four daughters and settled in Gothenburg, Neb., a little town on the Platte River.
“I thought if I had to go on long-term care, I would have that insurance, plus my Social Security, that would take care of most everything,” Tollefson said.”
“Aad Tollefson died in 2002, having never made a claim on his policy. His widow went into the hospital for kidney failure in February 2013, but decided to move back home afterward until she could no longer make it work. That moment came in April, when she moved into the Stone Hearth Estates assisted living housing, which costs about $3,400 per month. The long-term care insurance would pay $40 a day, a little over a third of the cost, or so she thought.
But Tollefson did not qualify, because she didn’t go into institutional care within 90 days of her hospital visit.
Her grandchildren contacted her insurance agent and got the bad news. Their appeal to Thrivent’s appeal panel was rejected last month.
“The panel acknowledged your long-term association with Lutheran Brotherhood/Thrivent as well as your determination to stay in your house and remain independent as long as possible,” Thrivent wrote in its denial letter. “Your actions are indeed commendable; however, these actions cannot supersede the contract requirements.”
“Thrivent members look for and expect Thrivent to provide benefits according to the policy,” the company said in its statement to the Star Tribune.”
Note the following:
- “Since 1999, Thrivent has required that disputes with members related to insurance products be resolved through its Member Dispute Resolution Program (“MDRP”). Hence no litigation. No day in court. No light of day. Retroactively applies. However, not tested in all state courts.
- “Thrivent told Tollefson that she cannot collect any benefits because she did not follow her policy’s protocol of spending three days in the hospital first.”
- “Thrivent members look for and expect Thrivent to provide benefits according to the policy,” Thrivent quoted in article. YES INDEED!
Remember the above, these themes will be revisited.