Category Archives: Civil rights

Justice Dept. enema required, Strzok firing not enough, J Christian Adams warning, Attorney Ty Clevenger FOIA requests and Transparency Project, DOJ blocking Set Rich info release

Justice Dept. enema required, Strzok firing not enough, J Christian Adams warning, Attorney Ty Clevenger FOIA requests and Transparency Project, DOJ blocking Set Rich info release

“Why was Tony West, who helped Obama keep his records hidden at taxpayer expense, promoted to Acting Associate Attorney General, the third highest official at the Justice Department?”…Citizen Wells

“Why has the Department of Justice not been cleansed (given an enema)?”…Citizen Wells

“I know that Seth Rich was involved in the DNC leak.”…Kim Dotcom

 

J. Christian Adams, former Justice Department attorney, warned us in 2010.

“On the day President Obama was elected, armed men wearing the black berets and jackboots of the New Black Panther Party were stationed at the entrance to a polling place in Philadelphia. They brandished a weapon and intimidated voters and poll watchers. After the election, the Justice Department brought a voter -intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party and those armed thugs. I and other Justice attorneys diligently pursued the case and obtained an entry of default after the defendants ignored the charges. Before a final judgment could be entered in May 2009, our superiors ordered us to dismiss the case.

The New Black Panther case was the simplest and most obvious violation of federal law I saw in my Justice Department career. Because of the corrupt nature of the dismissal, statements falsely characterizing the case and, most of all, indefensible orders for the career attorneys not to comply with lawful subpoenas investigating the dismissal, this month I resigned my position as a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney.”
“Based on my firsthand experiences, I believe the dismissal of the Black Panther case was motivated by a lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law. Others still within the department share my assessment. The department abetted wrongdoers and abandoned law-abiding citizens victimized by the New Black Panthers. The dismissal raises serious questions about the department’s enforcement neutrality in upcoming midterm elections and the subsequent 2012 presidential election.”

https://citizenwells.com/2014/06/09/j-christian-adams-explains-obama-use-of-alinsky-rules-for-radicals-challengers-to-obama-labeled-marginalized-compartmentalized-birthers-impeachment-proponents-made-to-look-crazy/

I have probably spent the greatest amount of time researching relative to reporting on the Seth Rich murder.

I vowed I would not forget it.

We deserve the truth.

There have been a number of FOIA requests for release of information regarding the Seth Rich murder and “investigations.”

I kept looking for a followup on the Judicial Watch request.

Attorney Ty Clevenger has made a number of FOIA requests as well as filing lawsuits and provided updates.

http://lawflog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017.09.01-Seth-Rich-FOIA-request.pdf

“Federal lawsuit seeks records about Seth Rich murder”

“This morning I filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that asks a federal judge in Brooklyn to order the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice to release records concerning the murder of former Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich.

Back in October, I wrote about the U.S. Department of Justice ordering the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. to release records about the murder, but since that time not a single record has been produced.  Around the same time, the FBI refused to search for records in its Washington Field Office, even though that is where the records are most likely to be found.  The lawsuit notes that the FBI has a history of trying to hide records from FOIA requestors and Congress.

I also asked the court to order the National Security Administration to release all of its communications with members of Congress regarding Seth Rich, Julian Assange, and Kim Dotcom, among others.

As you are probably aware, Mr. Rich’s parents filed suit this week against Fox News, producer Malia Zimmerman, and frequent guest Ed Butowsky.  I think that was a serious tactical error.  All of the defendants now have the legal right to subpoena documents and witnesses, and you can be sure they will use that power aggressively.

THE TRANSPARENCY PROJECT

With help from several supporters, I’ve organized The Transparency Project, a nonprofit corporation headquartered in Texas. If you want to support the Seth Rich litigation, you can find out how at Tproject.org. The website is a little primitive, but I plan to update it soon.”

Read more:

http://lawflog.com/?p=1912

The Transparency Project

“The Transparency Project is a nonprofit organization that fights political corruption, particularly in the judiciary and the legal profession. TTP was organized by Ty Clevenger, an attorney who grew tired of watching judges and lawyers get away with things that would send most people to prison.  Ty has forced two federal judges into retirement, triggered a grand jury investigation of the Texas Attorney General (who was subsequently indicted), prompted the indictment and conviction of a corrupt district attorney, and sued bar prosecutors to force them to investigate Hillary Clinton’s lawyers for their roles in destroying email evidence.  TTP intends to purse similar cases.”

Read more:

http://tproject.org/

 

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

 

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First Thrivent claims experience very frustrating, Claims person offended when I quoted Bible, Obviously did not understand contract, All business problems are management problems

First Thrivent claims experience very frustrating, Claims person offended when I quoted Bible, Obviously did not understand contract, All business problems are management problems

“pre-dispute mandatory arbitration provisions are inappropriate in insurance policies and incompatible with the legal duties insurers owe policyholders when handling their claims.”…NAIC, National Association of Insurance Commissioners, August 15, 2016

“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

“Martin Luther may or may not have stated ‘Here I Stand’ but his actions certainly did.”…Citizen Wells

 

From the recent letter I sent to the NC Insurance Commissioner attached:

“Larry Wells brief Bio”

 “I was baptized as an infant in the Lutheran Church, went through catechism class, was an acolyte, joined the church at age 12 and sang in a choir for years. The first time I was self employed in 1985, I took out a disability policy with AAL, Aid Association for Lutherans, a fraternal benefit society licensed to sell insurance in NC. They later became Thrivent. I believed I could trust them then”.

All business problems are management problems.

It is sometimes difficult to have empathy for someone who has caused you pain or problems.

It is easier however, with the passage of time, and proper reflection and sympathy to do so.

So it is with the Thrivent claims person I spoke to in 2002.

Thrivent, misrepresenting the contract, used “unable to work” on claims forms and in their conversations instead of the contract dictated unable to perform regular occupation.

I had numerous communications regarding this massive error and they were extremely frustrating, especially in the context of much pain and trying to take care of my essential responsibilities.

It was not only frustrating but surreal like being in Alice in Wonderland.

I referred to the forms as sleazy (trying not to use words like incompetent or evil) and according to the transcripts I obtained, used 3 different bible verses.

She was offended by my quoting the bible.

I quote the bible regularly.

Here are 2 of my favorites:

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”…Jesus, John 8:32

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”…Matthew 21:12-13

I was obviously influenced by Martin Luther.

“In fact, Luther says this is the most important reason to read and study the Catechism, because it grants the Holy Spirit, who brings us to faith in Christ and drives away the devil. Indeed, “for this reason alone you ought gladly to read, speak, think, and use these things, even if you had no other profit and fruit from them than driving away the devil and evil thoughts by doing so. For he cannot hear or endure God’s Word… Yes indeed, it is the power of God that gives the devil burning pain and strengthens, comforts, and helps us beyond measure.”[10] Read, repeat, meditate. Learn it by rote, so as to learn it by heart. Then you can take it with you to your deathbed and beyond.”

https://lutheranreformation.org/history/large-small-catechisms-dr-luther/

The poor lady was becoming almost as frustrated as I was. I truly believe she did not understand the contract nor how the claim forms were affecting me.

ALL PROBLEMS ARE MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS.

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thrivent incompetence misrepresentation fraud, My first claims experience not unique, Thrivent touts core Christian values and beneficial dispute resolution, Wolf in sheep’s clothing directed by Devil’s Advocates

Thrivent incompetence misrepresentation fraud, My first claims experience not unique, Thrivent touts core Christian values and beneficial dispute resolution, Wolf in sheep’s clothing directed by Devil’s Advocates

“The MDRP is the sole means for presenting and resolving grievances, complaints, or disputes between Members, insureds, certificate owners or beneficiaries and Thrivent or Thrivent’s directors, officers, agents and employees. The MDRP reflects Thrivent’s Christian belief system and strives to preserve Members’ fraternal relationship.”…Thrivent vs Perez Sept. 29, 2016

“pre-dispute mandatory arbitration provisions are inappropriate in insurance policies and incompatible with the legal duties insurers owe policyholders when handling their claims.”…NAIC, National Association of Insurance Commissioners, August 15, 2016

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”…Matthew 7:15

 

From my recent letter to Mike Causey, NC Insurance Commissioner:

“My first claims experience with AAL/Thrivent was 2001-2003. It was an eye opening experience. This was never intended to be a large claim or “war.” I did experience a series of incompetence, misrepresentation, adversarial responses and a great deal of frustration. I even learned later, after requesting conversation transcripts, that I had been slandered and libeled. This earlier experience, put aside because it was not a war, not life devastating, is resurrected in the context of being a pattern and not appropriately handled by the Insurance Commission in 2003.”

From Thrivent v. Acosta Nov. 3, 2017.

“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.’”

They have avoided adversarial litigation and replaced it with adversarial claims processes and dispute resolution controlled by their Devil’s Advocates. This has benefited Thrivent.

Here is a summary of what transpired from 2001-2003.

  • My knee went out early in 2001 (old football injury). My profession, computer consulting required much walking through warehouses and offices.
  • I was diagnosed on 6/18/01 with “severe osteoarthritis with progressively increasing pain and lack of function.”
  • Knee replacement surgery was scheduled for 12/17/01.
  • The local Thrivent rep urged me to file a claim. I did so. It was the right decision and the impact on my life was more significant than I expected.
  • My policy states that total disability is a disability that prevents one from performing their regular occupation. Clearly the date should fall between 6/18/01 and 12/17/01. I was unable to perform my regular occupation prior to surgery.
  • The doctor filled out a claims form and indicated 12/17/01 as the date of disability. The date of surgery. Why? Because Thrivent used the terminology “Unable to work” instead of the contract language.
  • I had a phone conversation with Thrivent claims, the beginning of a series of insane dialogues with people who were not listening about the disability.
  • It is important to note that I was in much pain before, during and after surgery, unable to work and dealing with other life stresses. This is an elephant in the room of insurance claims.
  • I received a letter from Ann Weyenberg of Thrivent dated 12/7/01 which states the correct contract language and reminds me to review the contract. Apparently I was the only one doing so.
  • I was in the hospital 5 days. My surgeon said my knee was the worst he had seen.
  • On 12/26/01, from a transcript I later obtained, Dave Burnette, the local rep, speaking to claims rep Jen Schroeder, uses the phrase “unable to work” instead of the proper contract language. Incompetence/misrepresentation is widespread.
  • On 2/4/02 I had a conversation with claims rep Sandy Kruse. I referred to the claims form as a disgrace and the process sleazy. She obviously was trained to respond in a certain manner and had no clue about the contract. I later learned that she and Dave Burnette slandered and libeled me.
  • I went round and round going back and forth between the claims people and the doctor getting nowhere but frustrated. There was a 3 month waiting period in the contract before benefits would kick in. I later learned there is more to that story and that is why they put so much effort into controlling the disability date.
  • In 2003, on the recommendation of an attorney, I filed a complaint with the NC Insurance Commission. From my recent letter to the commissioner: “The first complaint I filed with the NC Insurance Commission was a travesty. Apparently no investigation was performed, no one requested more info from me and the word of Thrivent was taken as Gospel. I believe this has empowered them to believe they are untouchable.”
  • This matter was put aside until I had a more serious claim with Thrivent.
  • I had a more serious claim in 2009. The first encounter is fully documented and presented again to the NC Insurance Commission. One of the discoveries: Thrivent corrected the claim form to reflect the wording of the contract.

Below is some of the documentation.

“Thrivent letter December 7, 2001, Ann Weyenberg.

A disability prevents performing regular occupation.

And  I am reminded to review the contract.

 

Claim form filled out by Dr. Aluisio (smoking gun).

  1. Notice, there is no date of disability per the contract language, the date unable to perform regular occupation.
  2. Date patient became medically unable to work does not match the contract and is a Social Security definition.
  3. Notice below that “Is patient medically able to return to the above noted occupation?”. Now they use contract language.
  4. Notice part-time checked.
  5. “Do you feel the patient is medically able to perform another occupation?” No checked.
  6. Under Current limitations / restrictions: Standing and walking checked. The doctor and Thrivent had been notified that walking was an integral part of my profession.

Furthermore, the diagnosis from June 18, 2001 revealed a funtional loss and pain.

Clearly the date of disability should have at least been somewhere between 6/19/01 and prior to surgery on 12/17/01.

I had several conversations with Thrivent personnel about the wording, each time I was ignored. Apparently the worker bees had no concept of the contract and probably believed that “unable to work” was perfectly acceptable. Management and legal staff should know better.

On February 4, 2002 I had a lengthy conversation with Sandy Kruse. She appeared confused when I requested clarification of the term “earned income.” She had no concept of what I was talking about. I was still in pain and frustrated with Thrivent’s attitude. I called form DL259, that the doctor filled out a disgrace and the process as sleazy. Incompetent and/or evil are probably more appropriate.

After going round and round with Thrivent and getting nowhere, an attorney suggested I file a complaint with the NC Insurance Commission. I did so.

NC Insurance Commission complaint.

“An attorney advised me to file a complaint with the NC Insurance Commission. I did so on September 24, 2003.”

“After the so called investigation, the Commission responded.

As you can see, they take Thrivent’s word and do no real investigation. They did not contact me with questions or for more input.

However, it was not a total waste of time.

  • This proves that Thrivent believed they were bound by NC insurance laws.
  • This proves that Thrivent continued their incompetent/fraudulent position of using “unable to work” instead of the contract language and had the gaul to maintain their position with the NC Insurance Commission. Misrepresentation.
  • Finally, Thrivent’s Ann Weyenberg, who wrote the December 7, 2001 letter quoting the contract correctly then, sent the following to the Insurance commission in a letter dated .October 14, 2003.

Ann Weyenberg begins:

“I’d like to explain some provisions of his disability contract:”

Really?

Notice that after “An occupation means the covered person’s regular occupation,” “but work part-time during the first 24 months of total disability.” does not match the contract language or the letter from Ann Weyenberg (see above) dated December 7, 2001.

Thrivent misrepresented the policy to the NC Insurance Commission!

Incompetence or Fraud?”

Read more:

http://eachstorytold.com/2018/07/10/thrivent-disability-claim-denial-complaint-to-nc-insurance-commission-no-investigation-just-echo-of-thrivents-statements-did-prove-thrivent-bound-by-law-and-their-misrepresentation/

 

In a letter dated August 14, 2004, Dr. Aluisio states why he used the date of surgery as the disability date.

It is obviously not the definition used in the policy. It is, as shown above, what Thrivent used on the claim form.

I do not know when Thrivent corrected the claim form, but if you retrieve one online now, this is what you see.

Date patient became medically unable to perform activities listed above (mm/dd/yyy)“, which is correct replaces “unable to work”.

http://eachstorytold.com/2018/07/22/thrivent-disability-claim-denial-my-first-experience-part-4-thrivent-claim-form-doctor-forced-to-use-definition-provided-by-thrivent-unable-to-work-instead-of-contract-unable-to-perform-regul/

 

 

 

 

 

Thrivent insurance claims reviews, Dispute resolution program benefits members?,Christian common bond?, “Don’t use this company they hide behind the cross”

Thrivent insurance claims reviews, Dispute resolution program benefits members?, Christian common bond?, “Don’t use this company they hide behind the cross”

“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

“The MDRP is the sole means for presenting and resolving grievances, complaints, or disputes between Members, insureds, certificate owners or beneficiaries and Thrivent or Thrivent’s directors, officers, agents and employees. The MDRP reflects Thrivent’s Christian belief system and strives to preserve Members’ fraternal relationship.”…Thrivent vs Perez Sept. 29, 2016

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”…Matthew 7:15

 

Below are some reviews of Thrivent insurance claims experiences that are similar to my experiences with Thrivent.

January 17, 2017.

“First of all I’m not a insurance company or employee. I have investments, life insurance, and disability insurance with Thrivent. I have been with Thrivent for many years and trusted them. when I became disabled a year ago and could not work I filed my private disability insurance along with my SSDI. After 7 months of waiting my SSDI was approved the 1st time, Still waiting and expecting my private disability insurance to be approved by Thrivent I received a letter from them with a denial stating I could still work according to all the medical records supplied. I supplied letters from my primary doctor and the specialists treating me stating I was disabled and could not work, I sent an e-mail to Thrivent letting them know of my approval for my SSDI and I got a letter back from them stating that there standards for approval are much higher then the Federal Gov. I followed all there requirements supplied all records never had to be evaluated by Thrivent’s doctor. They just flat denied my claim with a stupid excuse. I have been working with a attorney on this claim to try and settle it. Thrivent has been stalling them every step of the way. THIS DISABILITY POLICY IS A SCAMM. They never had any attention on paying out benefits. They communicated during the process with useless letters telling me nothing about my case. and short to the point e-mails telling me nothing. I have had to put out thousands of dollars in attorney fee’s and thousands of dollars in medical treatment fee’s for out of network doctors. If I don’t qualify for there disability benefits I don’t think anyone can. I DIDNT KNOW IT WAS ME AGIANST THRIVENT INSURANCE, THAT IS HOW THEY MAKE YOU FEEL. Don’t use this company they hide behind the cross.”

Read more:

https://insurance.freeadvice.com/reviews/377/comments/Thrivent+Financial/

Nancy Bowman February 6, 2018.

“We had a very difficult time during my husband’s illness, Parkinson’s among others, getting any help from Thrivent. Their customer service people were rude and of no assistance. Of his $170.000 fund, we spent $6,000 due to their outrageous, convoluted rules written for the benefit of the company. The salesman did not explain any of these caveats when we purchased the policy and refused to take my calls. Now I need some help, in-home, due to a broken foot but am told I have to pay for 90days of help before they will begin to pay, then need a doctor’s certification that I am disabled. There is a clause stating that if a licensed Health Care Practitioner has, with a 12 month period preceding that day, (what day?) certifies that the person has a physical impairment to last at least 90 days, but it doesn’t say anything else.I am about to go to my attorney, call my Congressmen and anything else to bring this company around. They keep a client’s fund separately but then, if not used, they abscond with it. It’s our money but they act like it’s theirs. They could keep the interest, but refund the premiums not used. It’s white-collar theft and they get away with it because they are a brotherhood. I would never have done business with this company.”

Cathy February 13, 2018.

“I am working on a long-term care insurance benefit dispute for 9 months now. Thrivent refuses to pay the claim even though my mother is coming to the end of her life and is totally disabled. I received a letter today stating that Thrivent does not have to justify their reasons for not paying the claim.
I attempted to resolve the claim through the Pennsylvania Dept of Insurance who did nothing but recommend we get an attorney. I also Issued a claim with the Better Business Bureau… another complete waste of time. Thrivent pays the BBB to post an A+ rating.
Today I sent my dispute to the Attorney General’s office.
Please… let’s not let this unethical organization take our parent’s money and then hide behind red tape and ambiguity when it is time for a payout. Has anyone contacted the Lutheran Synod to find out who is promoting these crooks? Does the Lutheran Synod know that Thrivent is not paying their claims?”

Kris Boike November 3, 2016.

“After a year of paying out on my mothers Long-Term Nursing Claim, Thrivent has stopped. They continuously change their minds of what they require within the Plan of Care from the Nursing Home. This has been going on for 4-5 months now, with at least 6 different versions of the Nursing Plan of Care being submitted. Not only is this experience frustrating, expensive to now start paying Nursing Home expenses directly, they expect my mother and father to re-start paying the LT Care Premiums while we go through the appeals/Membership Resolution Process. The Claims Examiners lie/change their minds constantly to avoid paying out! Lawyer-Up people! 17 Years of paying premiums and now they want more years of premium payments to avoid paying out! Snakes!”

Read more:

https://www.expertinsurancereviews.com/insurance-company-reviews/thrivent-financial/

I have attempted to contact a Doctor who is seeking others with bad Thrivent experiences. Hopefully he will respond.

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

 

 

 

Disability insurance claims delayed and denied, Human stories hidden, Susan Kristoff fought cancer and insurance injustice, Did Kristoff’s struggles with insurance lead to early death?

Disability insurance claims delayed and denied, Human stories hidden, Susan Kristoff fought cancer and insurance injustice, Did Kristoff’s struggles with insurance lead to early death?

“Insurance company mandated dispute resolution, appeal, mediation and arbitration, keeps disputes out of the light of day and creates more delays. It benefits the insurers.”…Citizen Wells

“The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that you’ve got it made.”…Groucho Marx

“Our right to our day in court has been severely eroded.”…Citizen Wells

 

Susan Kristoff fought cancer and insurance injustice and passed away in 2014.

I am still fighting insurance injustice.

I believe it is my duty to continue writing and expose the injustice.

From the Susan Kristoff obituary.

“Susan was a wonderful daughter, mother, sister and friend. She loved spending time with her family, searching for antiques, and enjoying time on the ocean in South Florida. She loved roller blading and biking in the beautiful Florida sunshine. She was a certified gemologist, extremely knowledgeable in both modern and antique jewelry. Searching consignment shops, auctions and yard sales for treasures was a particular passion. She always had kind and encouraging words to say to those around her. After being diagnosed with cancer in 2003, there were many difficult challenges for Susan, but she still found reasons to smile and to be positive. She had a hilarious sense of humor, with an infectious laugh, and a smile that could light up a room. She used her long battle with cancer to help others by assuming Leadership roles in organizations such as the Komen Foundation, and South Florida Cancer Society working aggressively to find a cure. Susan actively worked to implement legislative changes to Florida insurance laws. Her efforts helped to pass the Oral Chemotherapy Bill, legislation that made the pill form of chemotherapy a covered medical expense and available to those Florida residents in need. Susan’s advocacy has saved the lives of so many and has provided a higher quality of life for countless others. Susan appeared on Good Morning America twice and on several local news channels speaking about injustices within the insurance industry, her battle with cancer, and the Oral Chemo bill. She was also interviewed for multiple newspaper publications such as the Palm Beach Post and the Baltimore Sun,. She was honored by Komen Foundation as “A Warrior in Pink”. Susan was able to relate the concerns of people with cancer by bringing real experiences and issues to the forefront in order to facilitate change. With her warm engaging personality, she was a tremendous spokesperson for insurance reform and cancer research. She was actively engaged in this fight until just weeks before passing. Most of all, Susan was an amazing and dedicated mother. Susan considered her greatest achievement her son Joshua and always said he was the light of her life. She beamed with pride when speaking about Joshua. Susan was known for her passion, empathy, and kindness. She always put the needs of others before her own. Susan’s struggle with Cancer has come to an end and she is in a better place now.”

http://eachstorytold.com/2018/07/07/susan-kristoff-obituary-fought-cancer-and-insurance-injustice-featured-on-good-morning-america-spokesperson-for-insurance-reform-and-cancer-research-wonderful-daughter-mother-sister-and-friend/

From ABC News April 25, 2008.

“GMA Gets Answers: Insurer Delays Long-Term Benefit Coverage

To see Susan Kristoff relaxing near her home in West Palm Beach, it’s hard to imagine she has been fighting two very difficult battles.

One is against a potentially deadly form of breast cancer. Her other battle has been against her insurance company.

“I’ve moved twice, but I still have a place to live. But if it wasn’t for my family, I wouldn’t,” Kristoff told “Good Morning America.”

Kristoff was working at Yellow Book selling advertising 1½ years ago. The job entailed lugging the heavy books to meetings with potential clients. It was a job she loved, until one day a visit to the doctor brought terrible news.

She was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, and it was spreading throughout her body.

“It was awful, and I was extremely tired — limping, sharp pain,” Kristoff said.

Doctors said there was no way she could do her sales job anymore. The cancer had actually eaten holes through her hips. Her company had no other position to offer her, so Kristoff filed a claim for disability insurance.

Like millions of Americans, she paid a small amount each month — $20 in her case — to cover her financially should she be unable to work. One-third of Americans have some form of disability insurance.

For Kristoff, paying Cigna for disability insurance was the easy part. Collecting the insurance was a different story.

“It was a daily, eight-hour job just trying to fulfill the information that Cigna was requesting,” she said. “And it wasn’t once. It would be over and over again.”

But after five months of submitting forms, Cigna denied Kristoff’s claim for short-term disability. Cigna said she had not proven a disability. Sick and with bills piled up, Kristoff says she considered something drastic.

“If I wasn’t going to be getting better, I didn’t want to sink the rest of my family, so I spent two days in bed crying and thinking about suicide,” she said.

Instead Kristoff hired an attorney. In short order, Cigna reversed course and paid her short-term benefits. Then with her lawyer’s help, she applied for the much more important long-term help.

Delay Tactics

Her policy promised to pay her 60 percent of her salary if she was too disabled to work.

This time Cigna raised a different objection, saying because Kristoff had a different form of cancer two years before she was diagnosed with the breast cancer that had metastasized, she did not qualify for disability. Doctors say the two cancers are unrelated, and she had been diagnosed as cancer-free well before she began her new job.

“I’m appalled, I’m disgusted, but I’m not surprised because there are hundreds of Susans, many of which I’m representing currently,” said Kristoff’s attorney, Alicia Paulino Grisham.

Grisham says she’s seen this tactic before and it’s called “slow walking.”

“The insurance companies understand that if they deny and deny claims, then many of the claimants will never pursue their claim,” Grisham said.

Law professor and former White House staffer Sara Rosenbaum agrees. She says federal law protects insurers from costly punitive damages from consumer lawsuits, giving them an incentive to delay.”

“Finally, Some Good News

“GMA” got involved in Kristoff’s case as she was awaiting the results of yet another appeal.

It had been 1½ years since her cancer diagnosis, but shortly after “GMA” called Cigna on her behalf, Kristoff got some good news.

Cigna announced that based on “additional information … her disability benefits would be covered ” after all.”

Read more:

https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=4724106&page=1

CIGNA response.

“We have a thorough and fair process through which we make claim decisions. Accordingly, Ms. Kristoff’s case, including medical records from her treating doctors, was originally reviewed by a CIGNA physician and also by an independent, board-certified oncologist in August 2007. At that time, we provided her with information about how to obtain an additional review, or appeal, in her case. The appeal process is an important consumer protection, and we encourage individuals to participate in this process if they would like an additional review of their claim.”

https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=4725972

Fair?

To whom?

At its best, the appeal process is controlled by the insurer, out of the light of day (courtroom). It also delays resolution and the insured getting critical monetary help, often when the help is most needed.

People who are fighting disabilities, pain, cancer or whatever ailment, are in no position physically, emotionally or monetarily to be put through these ordeals.

I have experienced this first hand.

In many cases it is difficult to get legal representation because many attorneys will not touch cases with mandated dispute resolution.

From long time Citizen Wells commenter oldsailor:

“I was unable to find a lawyer anywhere who would help her re negotiate her claim. All the lawyers told her that MANDATED ARBITRATION is really designed to protect INSURANCE COMPANIES from excessive losses. They don’t give a damn about the victim.!!!!”

Did the delay and deny tactics of CIGNA cause the early death of Susan Kristoff?

They sure didn’t help.

 

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

 

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?

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.”

Read more:

http://www.startribune.com/shiffer-insurance-policy-s-fine-print-trumps-96-year-old-s-good-faith/286465911/?c=y&page=all&prepage=1#continue

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.

 

 

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US Supreme Court decision to uphold mandated arbitration further erodes our rights, Our day in court, “deprivation of consumers’ rights to seek redress for losses”

US Supreme Court decision to uphold mandated arbitration further erodes our rights, Our day in court, “deprivation of consumers’ rights to seek redress for losses”

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”…Karl Marx

“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

 

People around me and online may try to put me in a nice neat box such as Republican.

I do not fit.

What I am is an American who adheres to the US Constitution and rule of law.

I am not against arbitration on principle. Mutually agreed to.

I am against forced, mandated arbitration which strips away one of our basic rights.

Our day in court.

From the New York Times.

“Supreme Court Upholds Workplace Arbitration Contracts Barring Class Actions

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that companies can use arbitration clauses in employment contracts to prohibit workers from banding together to take legal action over workplace issues.

The vote was 5 to 4, with the court’s more conservative justices in the majority. The court’s decision could affect some 25 million employment contracts.

Writing for the majority, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch said the court’s conclusion was dictated by a federal law favoring arbitration and the court’s precedents. If workers were allowed to band together to press their claims, he wrote, “the virtues Congress originally saw in arbitration, its speed and simplicity and inexpensiveness, would be shorn away and arbitration would wind up looking like the litigation it was meant to displace.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg read her dissent from the bench, a sign of profound disagreement. In her written dissent, she called the majority opinion “egregiously wrong.” In her oral statement, she said the upshot of the decision “will be huge under-enforcement of federal and state statutes designed to advance the well being of vulnerable workers.”

Justice Ginsburg called on Congress to address the matter.

Brian T. Fitzpatrick, a law professor at Vanderbilt University who studies arbitrations and class actions, said the ruling was unsurprising in light of earlier Supreme Court decisions. Justice Gorsuch, he added, “appears to have put his cards on the table as firmly in favor of allowing class actions to be stamped out through arbitration agreements.”

As a result, Professor Fitzpatrick said “it is only a matter of time until the most powerful device to hold corporations accountable for their misdeeds is lost altogether.””

“Under those contracts, Justice Ginsburg wrote, it is often not worth it and potentially dangerous to pursue small claims individually. “By joining hands in litigation, workers can spread the costs of litigation and reduce the risk of employer retaliation,” she wrote.

The contracts may also encourage misconduct, Justice Ginsburg wrote.

“Employers, aware that employees will be disinclined to pursue small-value claims when confined to proceeding one-by-one, will no doubt perceive that the cost-benefit balance of underpaying workers tips heavily in favor of skirting legal obligations,” she wrote, adding that billions of dollars in underpaid wages are at issue.

Justice Ginsburg added that requiring individual arbitrations can produce inconsistent results in similar cases, particularly because arbitrations are often confidential.”

“In a 2015 dissent, Justice Ginsburg, citing a New York Times article examining arbitration agreements, wrote that the 2011 decision and later ones “have predictably resulted in the deprivation of consumers’ rights to seek redress for losses, and, turning the coin, they have insulated powerful economic interests from liability for violations of consumer protection laws.””

Read more:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/21/business/supreme-court-upholds-workplace-arbitration-contracts.html

Having experienced the abuse of mandated arbitration first hand, I agree with Justice Ginsburg.

It may be the only time it happens, but injustice is injustice.

 

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