Category Archives: Insurance

Mandated arbitration has no place in insurance policies for individuals, NAIC reviewing, McCarran- Ferguson Act allows states to regulate arbitration in insurance over Federal Arbitration Act FAA

Mandated arbitration has no place in insurance policies for individuals, NAIC reviewing, McCarran- Ferguson Act allows states to regulate arbitration in insurance over Federal Arbitration Act FAA

“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

“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

“Our organization was founded to help Lutherans care for and support one another in time of need, guided by the principles of the Christian faith.”…Thrivent Code of Conduct

 

From Insurance Business Magazine.

Clicking “accept” on a company’s terms and conditions – something we do daily to use and pay for products and services – usually subjects us to lengthy contractual agreements, many of which contain mandatory arbitration clauses. Proponents of arbitration might think it’s the greatest thing since whole wheat artisanal sliced bread, but mandating arbitration in consumer contracts is troublesome, and it has no place in insurance policies for individuals and small businesses.

Over the last 10 to 15 years, the practice of requiring individuals to agree to arbitrate rather than litigate any future disputes (or forgo the product, service or employment altogether) has been heavily criticized by government agencies, the media, academics and consumer groups. Arbitration, it turns out, is not always faster and cheaper (the two major benefits claimed), and it can suppress the number of consumers pursuing legal remedies, the likelihood of success and the amount of damages.”

“However, placing mandatory arbitration clauses in insurance policies restructures this crucial aspect of the insurer-insured relationship. Companies presumably employ pre-dispute mandatory arbitration provisions because they believe arbitration generally benefits them – and a growing amount of research suggests they are right. In addition, arbitration proceedings are usually confidential, not subject to judicial or regulatory review (absent fraud), and may contractually limit remedies and damages policyholders would otherwise have under their state law. Manipulating the dispute resolution process in this manner in insurance is in conflict with the duties insurers owe their policyholders and is not holding their policyholders’ interests “at least equal to their own.”

These concerns are why NAIC consumer representatives have requested the NAIC amend the Model Unfair Trade Practices Act to prohibit mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses in insurance policies sold to individuals, and ideally small businesses. An NAIC working group is now considering this action.”

“Thanks to the strong presumption favoring state insurance regulation in the McCarran- Ferguson Act, states can regulate arbitration in insurance despite the Federal Arbitration Act [FAA], which otherwise pre-empts most state laws restricting arbitration. Every court considering the application of McCarran Ferguson to the FAA has acknowledged that states can ban or restrict arbitration clauses in insurance contracts as long as the state prohibition “regulates the business of insurance” and the proposed arbitration provision would prejudice that law’s purpose.”

Read more:

https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/us/opinion/arbitration-no-thanks-105347.aspx

From the NAIC, The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, August 15, 2016.

“Why arbitration clauses should be banned”

“Insurers that would insist on mandatory arbitration of policyholder disputes have selected the forum that they believe will be more favorable to them than to their policyholders, if not on each individual claim then in the aggregate. However, manipulating the dispute resolution process in this manner conflicts with the duties insurers owe their policyholders and is not holding their policyholders’ interests “at least equal to their own.”

If arbitration was truly a neutral forum rather than one favoring insurers, then there would be no need for an insurer to insist on its use before a dispute has even arisen. Insurers should utilize arbitration only when the policyholder has consented to do so after an actual dispute occurs (which is what the suggested amendment to the Model Unfair Trade Practices Act should accomplish), rather than requiring it in boilerplate language that the policyholder is very
unlikely to read, could not bargain over the provision even if she did, and could not make an informed decision at the point of sale on the merits. True freedom of contract, combined with the fundamental right to a trial, requires a knowing relinquishment of that right, which can only occur voluntarily once a specific dispute has materialized.”

http://eachstorytold.com/2018/07/16/naic-banning-arbitration-clauses-in-insurance-policies-why-arbitration-clauses-should-be-banned-companies-that-include-pre-dispute-mandatory-arbitration-clauses-do-so-because-it/

From the NAIC 2018 Adopted Committee Charges.

“8. The Pre-Dispute Mandatory Arbitration Clauses (D) Working Group will:
A. Consider the use of: 1) pre-dispute mandatory arbitration clauses; and 2) choice-of-law and choice-of-venue clauses and, if appropriate, prohibit their use in any individual or commercial insurance policies by amending the Unfair Trade Practices Model Act (#880), developing a new model act or developing other guidance regarding their usage.”

https://www.naic.org/documents/index_committees_2018_committee_charges.pdf

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

 

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Thrivent Financial vs Perez Department of Labor Acosta DOL, Status of lawsuits, Defense of alternative dispute resolution with mandated arbitration

Thrivent Financial vs Perez Department of Labor Acosta DOL, Status of lawsuits, Defense of alternative dispute resolution with mandated arbitration

“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 v. Perez Sept. 29, 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

“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

 

From Bloomberg  Sept. 29, 2016.

“Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is accusing the Department of Labor of exceeding its statutory authority by attempting, with its new fiduciary rule, to force all disputes into federal court rather than allowing for alternative dispute resolution methods (Thrivent Financial for Lutherans v. Perez, D. Minn., 0:16-cv-03289, complaint filed 9/29/16).

Thrivent’s lawsuit, filed Sept. 29 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, takes aim at the rule’s “best interest contract” (BIC) exemption”

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/employee-benefits/thrivent-financial-joins-fray-in-challenging-dols-fiduciary-rule?context=article-related

From the lawsuit.

“Thrivent’s Member Dispute Resolution Program
42. Thrivent’s MDRP is incorporated into all of Thrivent’s fraternal insurance contracts through the open contract provision by which Thrivent’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws are incorporated into all Thrivent insurance contracts, as required under state law. The MDRP Bylaw was adopted by Thrivent’s Member-elected Board of Directors as a part of Thrivent’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws in 1999 (at which time Thrivent was known as AAL). In so doing, Thrivent’s Board of Directors determined that the MDRP is in the best interests of Thrivent’s Membership.

43. The MDRP Bylaw, which is Section 11 of Thrivent’s Bylaws, requires binding, mandatory arbitration for any Member disputes with Thrivent. Section 11 “applies to all past, current and future benefit certificates, members, insureds, certificate owners, beneficiaries and the Society. It applies to all claims, actions, disputes and grievances of any kind or nature whatsoever. It includes, but is not limited to, claims based on breach of benefit contract[.]” Bylaws, § 11(b). “No lawsuits or any other actions may be brought for any claims or disputes covered by” Section 11. Id. § 11(c).

44. 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.”

“47. A key benefit of the MDRP is that it preserves the fraternal relationship between Thrivent and its Members by avoiding adversarial litigation that could threaten to undermine the organization’s core mission. Thrivent’s Bylaws provide that no lawsuits or other actions are permitted for claims or disputes covered by the MDRP. Thrivent’s MDRP provides for resolution of disputes on an individual basis, involving Thrivent and the Members. Representative or class actions are not permitted under the MDRP Bylaw, which provides that “no disputes may be brought forward in a representative group or on behalf of or against any ‘class’ of persons, and the disputes of multiple members, insureds, certificate owners or beneficiaries (other than immediate family) may not be joined together for purposes of these procedures.” See Bylaws, § 11(e).
48. The MDRP is consistent with Thrivent’s fraternal nature, consistent with the Christian belief system of its Members, and reflects the careful balancing between Thrivent’s and its Members’ desire for a prompt, fair and efficient resolution of disputes, on the one hand, and the protection of the interests of all Members on the other. As such, the MDRP is an integral part of Thrivent’s governance structure. Experience has shown that the MDRP not only provides a fair and efficient process for dispute resolution, but is also in the best interest of Members.”

https://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/desktop/document/Thrivent_Financial_for_Lutherans_v_Perez_et_al_Docket_No_016cv032?1552582945

DOL temporarily stopped enforcing anti-arbitration provision.

“Thrivent Financial for Lutherans convinced a federal judge in Minnesota to temporarily stop the Labor Department from enforcing the fiduciary rule’s anti-arbitration provision against the nonprofit financial entity.

Thrivent showed the threat of irreparable harm to its business model, both now and in the future, was sufficient to have its request for a preliminary injunction granted, Judge Susan Richard Nelson held Nov. 3 (Thrivent Fin. for Lutherans v. Acosta, 2017 BL 396118, D. Minn., No. 0:16-cv-03289-SRN-DTS, order granting preliminary injunction 11/3/17″

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/employee-benefits/thrivent-financial-wins-battle-over-labor-dept-arbitration-ban?context=article-related

Status report January 2, 2018.

“While the administrative process continues forward, it is not yet complete. On November 29, 2017, the Department published in the Federal Register a final rule extending the transition period and delay of applicability dates for the relevant prohibited transaction exemptions from January 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019. See 82 Fed. Reg. 56545 (Nov. 29, 2017). The Department believes that this administrative delay will provide the Department time to complete its review of the underlying Fiduciary Rule and related exemptions and its intended proposal of “a new streamlined class exemption.” Id. at 56548. The Department believes that both its review and any proposed changes can be implemented before July 1, 2019. See id. at 56552 (explaining the Department’s belief that the additional time “is sufficient to complete review of the new information in the record and to implement changes to the Fiduciary Rule and/or PTEs, if any, including opportunity for notice and comment and coordination with other regulatory agencies”) ”

https://www.dolfiduciaryrule.com/portalresource/ThriventvPerez2018-01-02ECF112JointStatusReport.pdf

Status report July 2, 2018.

“Pursuant to the Court’s Memorandum Opinion and Order dated November 3, 2017, the parties submit this joint status report to address whether a continued stay of proceedings is necessary. The parties agree that a continued stay of proceedings is appropriate and anticipate providing a subsequent report to the Court on September 4, 2018.

In its Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Court granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting the “implementation and enforcement of the BIC Exemption’s anti-arbitration condition against Thrivent . . . until the conclusion of this litigation or such time as the Court so orders.” ECF No. 111 at 19. The Court also stayed the case, concluding that “[s]taying this matter will allow the administrative process to fully develop, possibly resolving this dispute, and thereby promoting judicial economy.””

https://www.napa-net.org/sites/napa-net.org/files/uploads/thrivent-dol-status-report.pdf

A status report for September 2018 has not been located.

However, the following suggests the Department of Labor is continuing to work on the “Fiduciary Rule and Prohibited Transaction Exemptions.”

RIN Data

DOL/EBSA RIN: 1210-AB82 Publication ID: Fall 2018
Title: Fiduciary Rule and Prohibited Transaction Exemptions
Abstract:The Department of Labor in 1975 issued a regulation defining who is “fiduciary” under section 3(21)(A)(ii) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) as a result of giving investment advice for a fee or other compensation.  On April 8, 2016, the Department replaced the 1975 regulation with a new regulatory definition.  The new regulatory definition was vacated in toto in Chamber of Commerce v. Department of Labor, 885 F.3d 360 (5th Cir. 2018).  The Department is considering regulatory options in light of the Fifth Circuit opinion.
Agency: Department of Labor(DOL) Priority: Other Significant
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage
Major: No Unfunded Mandates: No
EO 13771 Designation: Deregulatory
CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 29 U.S.C. 1002 (ERISA sec. 3(21))    29 U.S.C. 1108 (ERISA sec. 408)
Legal Deadline:  None
Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite
Request for Information (RFI) 07/06/2017 82 FR 31278
RFI Comment Period End 08/08/2017
Final Rule 09/00/2019

https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201810&RIN=1210-AB82

How will this play out? Who knows.

The NAIC in 2016 stated: “pre-dispute mandatory arbitration provisions are inappropriate in insurance policies and incompatible with the legal duties insurers owe policyholders when handling their claims.”

Hopefully justice will prevail.

***  Update Mar 15, 2019  ***

According to a USDOJ attorney who worked on the lawsuit, it has ended.

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

 

Thrivent Ethisphere “ethics recognition”  2019 World’s Most Ethical Companies, One of best awards money can buy?, Chris MacDonald: take awards “with a grain of salt.”

Thrivent Ethisphere “ethics recognition”  2019 World’s Most Ethical Companies, One of best awards money can buy?, Chris MacDonald: take awards “with a grain of salt.”

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks”… “Hamlet”, William Shakespeare

“the awarding of an ethics accolade to a company that gives you money just doesn’t pass the smell test.”…LA Times October 27, 2014

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

 

If your company is ethical, you should not have to advertise it. Customers, employees and those you deal with will know.

From Thrivent February 26, 2019.

“THRIVENT NAMED ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST ETHICAL COMPANIES® BY ETHISPHERE FOR THE 8TH TIME”

“Thrivent, a not-for-profit membership organization that helps members be wise with money and live generously, has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as one of the 2019 World’s Most Ethical Companies.

Thrivent has been recognized eight years in a row and is one of only five honorees in the financial services industry.

In 2019, 128 honorees were recognized spanning 21 countries and 50 industries. The 13th class of honorees profoundly illustrates how companies continue to be the driving force for improving communities, building capable and empowered workforces, and fostering corporate cultures focused on ethics and a strong sense of purpose.

“We’re proud to once again be named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies,” said Terry Rasmussen, president and CEO of Thrivent. “At Thrivent, we are purposeful and intentional about following ethical business practices and ensuring our actions reflect commitment, collaboration and care. Setting this high standard helps us fulfill our mission of serving more Christians on their wise with money journeys.”

Said Ethisphere’s Chief Executive Officer, Timothy Erblich: “Today, employees, investors and stakeholders are putting their greatest trust in companies to take leadership on societal issues. Companies that take the long view with a purpose-based strategy are proven to not only outperform but last. I congratulate everyone at Thrivent for earning this recognition.”

Methodology & Scoring
The World’s Most Ethical Companies assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient® (EQ) framework, which offers a quantitative way to assess a company’s performance in an objective, consistent and standardized manner. The information collected provides a comprehensive sampling of definitive criteria of core competencies rather than all aspects of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance and ethics.

Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35 percent), culture of ethics (20 percent), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20 percent), governance (15 percent) and leadership and reputation (10 percent). All companies that participate in the assessment process receive their scores, providing them with valuable insights into how they stack up against leading organizations.”

Read more:

https://www.thrivent.com/newsroom/thrivent-named-one-of-the-worlds-most-ethical-companies-by-ethisphere.html

Why does Thrivent go to such lengths to tout this award?

Is Thrivent buying this award?

Does the award really mean anything?

Consider the following:

“For the last seven years, Thrivent has been honored to be named a World’s Most Ethical Company,” said Brad Hewitt, CEO of Thrivent. “As we serve our members and carry out what it means to be an ethical company through our actions and business practices, we are pleased to be recognized as leaders in setting a standard that we hope will continue to develop within the business community.”

_____

“The Ethisphere Insitute, which describes itself as “a leading international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability,” is actually a for-profit company. The institute also lends itself credibility with an “advisory panel” of ethicists, yet several former members say they’ve had little if anything to do with it. Finally, the institute and an affiliated company sell services to and collect fees from some of the same companies Ethisphere extols.”

“The scoring is based mostly on information provided by the companies themselves, and Ethisphere says its questionnaire should take 30 to 40 minutes to complete. Ethisphere then asks companies for documentation to support survey answers and reviews other sources, such as news articles, court records, and Consumer Reports. Ethisphere says it reviewed more than 10,000 corporations for last year’s list.

Brigham acknowledges that the system is imperfect. “Could they be lying to us?” he says. “Sure, they could. … Over time, we’re going to have to figure out how to verify that. And no one is going to pay us to verify it, and if we try to charge them to verify it, we’re going to have reporters like you make it sound like we’re getting paid off.”

Ethisphere says its methodology was developed with the help of a panel of independent experts. But as I dialed up half a dozen of the 20 committee members, I found only one (George Ash) who said he actually contributed to shaping the methodology. Others said they made a suggestion that wasn’t heeded (Thomas Donaldson), or didn’t seriously analyze the methodology (Patrick Barwise, John Dienhart, Chris MacDonald), or didn’t know they were on the panel (Karen Paul). Ethisphere says that it assumed panel members who didn’t respond to its queries simply agreed with the methodology and that each member explicitly agreed to be on the panel. Since my inquiries, Ethisphere has named a new, smaller panel, and none of the people I spoke to are still on it.”

“It’s tempting, of course, to dismiss all this as just corporate window-dressing, and in fact Canadian ethicist Chris MacDonald, who until recently was on Ethisphere’s advisory panel, warned me to take such awards “with a grain of salt.””

_____

“Apparently, Blue Shield and Ethisphere haven’t quite grasped that the appearance of a conflict can be just as troubling as an actual conflict.

Nor do they seem to understand that the awarding of an ethics accolade to a company that gives you money just doesn’t pass the smell test.

Hey, remember when things like ethics mattered?

Blue Shield doesn’t. Neither does the Ethisphere Institute.”

https://citizenwells.com/2018/05/27/thrivent-buys-ethics-awards-touts-christian-values-the-ethics-of-firms-paying-to-be-honored-for-ethics-ethisphere-institute-worlds-most-ethical-companies-thrivent-touts-these-ethics-awa/

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

 

Thrivent employees not required to be Christian, Thrivent misrepresentation, Martin Luther: justified by faith we are sent by God into our vocations to love and serve our neighbors

Thrivent employees not required to be Christian, Thrivent misrepresentation, Martin Luther: justified by faith we are sent by God into our vocations to love and serve our neighbors

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”…Matthew 6:24

“Am I now seeking the approval of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”…Galatians 1:10

“You don’t need to be Christian to join our team. You do need the passion to guide our members on their Wise With Money Journey”…Thrivent claims operations manager employment ad

 

From a recent Thrivent employment ad for a Claims Operations Manager:

“You don’t need to be Christian to join our team. You do need the passion to guide our members on their Wise With Money Journey”

THAT EXPLAINS MUCH.

Thrivent portrays their commitment to “core Christian values.” in the following ways:

“CEO Brad Hewitt told the 1,600 members at the regional meeting at the Henry Ford Museum that while Thrivent traces its corporate roots to the turn of the 20th century, its history goes back to the 16th century and the founder of Protestant Christianity, Martin Luther.

Luther drafted a document in 1523 called the “Fraternal Agreement on the Common Chest of the Entire Assembly at Leisnig,” which established rules about pooling resources to help people in need.

“The phrase he used consistently was, ‘This is done for the honor of God and the love of fellow Christians,’” Hewitt said, adding that Thrivent was formed by Lutheran immigrants for the same basic purpose.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/thrivent-financial-is-no-longer-for-lutherans-only/2014/03/28/2b47102e-b6ae-11e3-9eb3-c254bdb4414d_story.html?utm_term=.d47f5d3f293c

Thrivent’s Christian Calling

“Thrivent’s Lutheran heritage of answering God’s call has led to a strong membership-owned organization that now welcomes Christians seeking to live out their faith.

Fraternal benefit societies have a common bond among members. Thrivent’s common bond is Christianity. We embrace the core Christian beliefs as articulated in the Apostles’ Creed”

https://www.thrivent.com/about-us/files/28023.pdf

Code of Conduct.

“Our organization was founded to help Lutherans care for and support one another in time of need, guided by the principles of the Christian faith.”

https://www.thrivent.com/files/24097.pdf

From Thrivent vs Acosta, US DOL November 3, 3017.

“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.””

It is impossible for non Christians to treat others with values and actions that can only emanate from someone who is a Christian.

Therefore, Thrivent has misrepresented their positions.

Martin Luther rejected the working (or buying) your way into heaven and grace through one’s works and efforts that had evolved in the Roman Catholic Church.

Instead, he explained that good works and love for one’s neighbor are a natural product of one’s faith and love for and obedience to God.

Martin Luther on Christian life and vocations.

From “Working for Our Neighbor”:

“For Martin Luther, vocation is nothing less than the locus of the Christian life. God works in and through vocation, but he does so by calling human beings to work in their vocations. In Jesus Christ, who bore our sins and gives us new life in his resurrection, God saves us for eternal life. But in the meantime he places us in our temporal life where we grow in faith and holiness. In our various callings—as spouse, parent, church member, citizen, and worker—we are to live out our faith.”

“Loving and Serving Our Neighbors
God does not need our good works, Luther said, but our neighbor does (Wingren, Luther on Vocation, 10). Our relationship with God is based completely on his work for us in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Justification by faith completely excludes any kind of dependence on our good works for our salvation. We come before God clothed not in our own works or merits, but solely in the works and merits of Christ, which are imputed to us. But having been justified by faith, we are sent by God back into the world, into our vocations, to love and serve our neighbors.”

“The economic vocations give us many neighbors whom we are to love and serve: customers, to be sure”

“Vocation Counters Our Materialism
Vocation counters the materialism and self-centeredness of economic pursuits by giving them a new meaning and a new orientation. Similarly, vocation also transforms other social relationships, such as the nature of authority.”

http://www.letterstotheexiles.com/working-neighbor-martin-luther-purpose-vocation/

Martin Luther on Vocations and ethics.

” Luther’s view of justification turned this ethical system on its head and placed Christian ethics into two realms of life in God’s world. In the divine realm, or right-hand rule of God, Christian righteousness is something that proceeds from faith alone and is therefore impossible apart from faith. No matter how good a person is in terms of ethical behavior (what the Lutheran reformers call human righteousness), such a person has no Christian righteousness without faith in Christ, from which Christian righteousness blooms as fruit from a good tree.”

http://eachstorytold.com/2019/02/11/martin-luther-on-vocations-god-created-3-orders-ecclesiastical-civil-economic-all-christians-have-a-vocation-to-serve-god-in-their-household-and-economic-sphere/

Martin Luther Christ centric approach to ethics:

““Gifted by him, Christ’s holy people live their lives enveloped in Christ’s gifts and forgiveness, serving their neighbor in word and deed. Yet there are always temptations in the world that seek to diminish Jesus. Luther warns, “Therefore Satan continually mounts a new battle against us” (WA 40 I: 318, 12; AE 26: 193).23 The devil “often suggests a false Christ to me” (WA 40 I: 321, 32-33; AE 26: 196).24 Since Christians are powerless before Satan, their daily life of vocation is a daily return to baptism.

Luther presents the life of Christians in their daily callings as a life that is lived within the forgiveness of sins. Ethics may not be detached from the body and blood of Jesus that the baptized receive. This is where the forgiveness is bestowed (WA 18: 203, 39-204, 9; AE 40: 214). Bodied together and blooded together, the communicants are enlivened to serve one another in word and deed, not only in the church but in the world.””

http://eachstorytold.com/2019/02/11/martin-luther-christ-centric-approach-to-ethics-ethics-as-the-gift-of-the-lord-ethics-in-each-christians-callings-is-where-the-lord-has-his-way-in-the-world/

From Martin Luther’s Large Catechism:

“If, then, it be asked: How do you understand the Second Commandment, or what is meant by taking in vain, or misusing God’s name? answer briefly thus: It is misusing God’s name when we call upon the Lord God no matter in what way, for purposes of falsehood or wrong of any kind. Therefore this commandment enjoins this much, that God’s name must not be appealed to falsely, or taken upon the lips while the heart knows well enough, or should know, differently; as among those who take oaths in court, where one side lies against the other. For God’s name cannot be misused worse than for the support of falsehood and deceit.”
“Therefore let every one know that it is his duty, at the risk of God’s
displeasure, not only to do no injury to his neighbor, nor to deprive
him of gain, nor to perpetrate any act of unfaithfulness or malice in
any bargain or trade, but faithfully to preserve his property for him,
to secure and promote his advantage, especially when one accepts money, wages, and one’s livelihood for such service.”
“And yet we pretend to be godly, know how to adorn ourselves most finely and conceal our rascality, resort to and invent adroit devices and deceitful artifices (such as now are daily most ingeniously contrived) as though they were derived from the law codes; yea, we even dare impertinently to refer to it, and boast of it, and will not have it called rascality, but shrewdness and caution. In this lawyers and jurists assist, who twist and stretch the law to suit it to their cause, stress words and use them for a subterfuge, irrespective of equity or their neighbor’s necessity. And, in short, whoever is the most expert and cunning in these affairs finds most help in law, as they themselves say: Vigilantibus iura subveniunt [that is, The laws favor the watchful].”

 

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://eachstorytold.com/

 

 

Thrivent claim news, Dr. Grover office contact, Sincere investigation attempt?, Records not requested in 2017 contrary to Thrivent letter statement, Mediation session sham

Thrivent claim news, Dr. Grover office contact, Sincere investigation attempt?, Records not requested in 2017 contrary to Thrivent letter statement, Mediation session sham

“Companies don’t want to go to court because it puts them on a level playing field. Courts are ruled by law, legal precedent, and legal discovery, which allows litigants to obtain information and evidence from their opponents or from third parties.”…North Carolina Consumers Council

“The insurance companies understand that if they deny and deny claims, then many of the claimants will never pursue their claim,”…ABC News Good Morning America April 25, 2008

“Companies And CEOs Rarely Admit To Wrongdoing”…NPR Sept. 20, 2013

 

From Citizen Wells October 15, 2018.

“I have in my possession startling new evidence which explains the “Alice in Wonderland” responses and requests I received from Thrivent personnel and agents during the processing of my disability claims.

I am requesting that you examine the letter your senior claims examiner sent to the NC Insurance Commission on  August 10, 2018 and take the appropriate actions.

If I were in your shoes, after examining and reviewing the evidence, I would immediately issue an apology and make reparations.

In the absence of those Christian responses, I am requesting again that we proceed to mediation instead of Thrivent’s insistence on perceived authority to mandate binding arbitration.”

https://citizenwells.com/2018/10/15/to-brad-hewitt-thrivent-financial-for-lutherans-request-for-mediation-based-on-startling-new-evidence-request-you-examine-august-10-2018-letter-senior-claims-examiner-sent-to-nc-insurance-commissio/

Has a sincere effort to investigate what has actually transpired in my claims case begun?

I received a call from Dr. Grover’s office on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, at 3:00 PM, asking if I had given my permission for an insurance company to receive my records.

I answered yes.

Since this phone number did not match the one I had on record, I decided I must verify it. I also wanted to know if anyone had requested my records in 2017.

On Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, I called the number which was answered as Dr. Grover’s office. I verified my identity and asked if anyone had requested my records in 2017. I was told someone would call me back.

I received a call several hours later. No one requested my records in 2017.

Thrivent Attorney Wayne Luck during mediation and the same claims person who wrote the 6 page letter to the NC Insurance Commission with the nonsensical contract explanation, the  “Alice in Wonderland” protocol, tried to accuse me of falsifying records. The claims person in her letter to my former attorney stated that Dr. Grover’s office had no records for me. As you note above, Dr. Grover’s office had no record of Thrivent requesting my records.

I however, have multiple copies of documents proving Dr. Grover saw me multiple times.

At no time has Thrivent requested these records.

The hole is getting deeper.

I will not put off forever revealing the  “Alice in Wonderland” nonsense the Thrivent claims person wrote.

I hope that someone(s) at Thrivent is intelligent and moral enough to seek the truth.

Background on Dr. Grover controversy.

http://eachstorytold.com/2018/10/27/thrivent-claim-more-startling-new-evidence-of-fraud-or-incompetence-dr-grovers-office-called-consequence-of-alice-in-wonderland-protocol/

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

 

Key Risk unleashes devils advocates against Mario Seguro-Suarez, Workers comp claimant, Fell 18 feet head-first onto concrete floor, Emergency brain surgery & damage, Accused of fraud & jailed

Key Risk unleashes devils advocates against Mario Seguro-Suarez, Workers comp claimant, Fell 18 feet head-first onto concrete floor, Emergency brain surgery & damage, Accused of fraud & jailed

“Companies don’t want to go to court because it puts them on a level playing field. Courts are ruled by law, legal precedent, and legal discovery, which allows litigants to obtain information and evidence from their opponents or from third parties.”…North Carolina Consumers Council

“The insurance companies understand that if they deny and deny claims, then many of the claimants will never pursue their claim,”…ABC News Good Morning America April 25, 2008

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”…Ephesians 6:12

 

If the following is true, I hope that Key Risk is sued for every penny they have and put out of business.

From the Charlotte Observer via InsuranceNewsNet.com October 23, 2018.

“Company couldn’t cut disabled worker’s benefits, so it ‘went rogue,’ lawyer says

In 2003, after Mario Seguro-Suarez fell 18 feet head-first onto the concrete floor of his Lincolnton workplace, his employer and its insurance carrier acknowledged that his disabling brain injury qualified him for workers’ compensation benefits.

Court documents reveal the lengths that Key Risk Insurance Co. went not to pay them.

The Greensboro-based company disregarded years of medical opinions — including several from its own doctors — that Seguro-Suarez was indeed left disabled from his fall at the Southern Fiber factory, documents show.

Over the past 15 years, Key Risk has made multiple trips to courts and before the N.C. Industrial Commission to argue that Seguro-Suarez has been faking his symptoms and that his benefits should be cut off.

When the company lost those fights, it kept appealing — and losing.

When all else failed, says veteran Charlotte attorney Woody Connette, Key Risk “went rogue.”

First, it had the idled worker followed and videotaped for weeks, court documents say. A private investigator then took what a detective would describe as misleading information to Lincolnton police to accuse Seguro-Suarez of insurance fraud. He was arrested, jailed and later indicted.

The charges were thrown out in 2014, drawing a withering rebuke from the Lincoln County judge who heard them.

Now, Seguro-Suarez and his attorneys are suing Key Risk and others for malicious prosecution. In September, the N.C. Court of Appeals — the state’s second highest judicial body — refused the company’s motion to have the 2016 lawsuit thrown out.

Charlotte attorney Woody Connette, who is serving as legal guardian for Seguro-Suarez in his Key Risk lawsuit because the worker has been found incapable of representing himself, says the company’s actions are unlike any he’s encountered in his 40-year legal career.

“I have seen some outrageous abuses of the system by insurance companies, but this is the most outrageous,” Connette told the Observer.”

“Seguro-Suarez’ fall in January 2003 left him in a coma and put him on a respirator.

Following emergency brain surgery at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, the Costa Rican native was unable to clothe, feed or clean himself, documents say. He also displayed radical mood swings and was deemed incapable of returning to work.

A doctor who treated Seguro-Suarez described him as “childlike.” One of his workers’ comp attorneys, Rick Anderson of Charlotte, says multiple tests place Seguro-Suarez’ current IQ at around 70, in the bottom 1 percent of all North Carolinians.”

“In October 2014, Seguro-Suarez was arrested on 25 felony counts, including insurance fraud and obtaining property under false pretenses, documents indicate.

The criminal case against him began crumbling early on. After his first court appearance, a psychologist with the state prison system found Seguro-Suarez mentally incapable of standing trial, documents say.

Superior Court Judge Forrest Bridges of Lincolnton ridiculed the charges.”

“In October 2016, Seguro-Suarez sued for malicious prosecution. The complaint names Key Risk and four of its employees, including Senior Vice President Joseph Abriola, as defendants. Hill, the investigator, is also included.

Key Risk appealed. In January 2017, Superior Court Judge Jesse Caldwell of Gaston County refused to dismiss the complaint. Again, Key Risk challenged the ruling, this time to the Court of Appeals. In September, Key Risk again lost.

In June, the Industrial Commission rejected the latest company latest appeal and locked in Seguro-Suarez’ benefits for life.”

Read more:

https://insurancenewsnet.com/oarticle/company-couldnt-cut-disabled-workers-benefits-so-it-went-rogue-lawyer-says#.W9CfGWhKi1s

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

 

 

 

NC insurance issues, Hurricane Florence ramifications, Mandatory arbitration impact, Most have no flood insurance, My disability claims impact

NC insurance issues, Hurricane Florence ramifications, Mandatory arbitration impact, Most have no flood insurance, My disability claims impact

“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

“Companies don’t want to go to court because it puts them on a level playing field. Courts are ruled by law, legal precedent, and legal discovery, which allows litigants to obtain information and evidence from their opponents or from third parties. Discovery is a privilege in arbitration, but not a right. Arbitrators can’t enforce subpoenas, meaning you have to file a lawsuit just to get a third party or a piece of information into the hearing. In open court, you don’t have to jump through nearly as many hoops. Further, judgments in court are often more favorable to the consumer, both in the rate of success and the dollar amount of judgments.”…North Carolina Consumers Council

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

 

Hurricane Florence and its subsequent short term and long term flooding impact has been dominating much of the news in NC.

The impact is much worse than most people realize due to the extensive flooding and the fact that most people affected by the flooding do not have flood insurance.

Those who do have insurance coverage may be in for another shock.

The mandatory arbitration clause that may be in their insurance contract and permitted in NC. If they do not get what they consider a fair settlement, they may not be able to litigate, to have an attorney protect their interest in a court of law.

From the North Carolina Consumers Council.

“Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Are Everywhere But Aren’t Good For The Consumer

MANDATORY ARBITRATION TIES YOUR HANDS AND PREVENTS YOU FROM GETTING PROTECTIONS AND REMEDIES AVAILABLE UNDER STATE AND FEDERAL LAW”

“Arbitration can be voluntary or mandatory. Voluntary arbitration is preferred as it preserves your legal rights. Mandatory arbitration, on the other hand, compels you to first submit to the arbitration process as a condition of buying or using a product or service before you take your case to court. In many situations, however, accepting a mandatory arbitration clause means you surrender your rights to further court action at any time in the future for anything.”

“Arbitration providers market entirely to businesses and their arbitrators often consist primarily of corporate executives and their lawyers. So, arbitration is tilted heavily in the favor of the company because the arbitrator is chosen by and paid for by the company. That arbitrator has a financial incentive to rule in the favor of the company in order to be chosen in the future by the company for other arbitration cases. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the arbitration will not find for the consumer. But arbitrators aren’t required to take law and legal precedent into account when making decisions like in legal proceedings. And since arbitration is private, everything that happens behind those closed doors is supposed to remain secret, meaning there is no public review of the process and no appeal in the case of binding arbitration.”

Read more:

https://www.ncconsumer.org/news-articles-eg/mandatory-arbitration-clauses-are-everywhere-but-arent-good-for-the-consumer.html

I recently received a gift, a blessing, from the NC Insurance Commission regarding my disability claim with Thrivent.

I am not at liberty to release the information at this time.

However, the impact this has had on me is significant.

It is my story and the story of thousands, if not millions of others.

http://eachstorytold.com/2018/09/25/thrivent-disability-claim-denial-and-treatment-impact-on-my-life-2009-to-present-delay-and-deny-alice-in-wonderland-protocol/

From the NAIC, The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, August 15, 2016.

“Peter Kochenburger and Brendan Bridgeland, NAIC Consumer Representatives 
Section One: Why arbitration clauses should be banned”

“Insurers that would insist on mandatory arbitration of policyholder disputes have selected the forum that they believe will be more favorable to them than to their policyholders, if not on each individual claim then in the aggregate. However, manipulating the dispute resolution process in this manner conflicts with the duties insurers owe their policyholders and is not holding their policyholders’ interests “at least equal to their own.”

“If arbitration was truly a neutral forum rather than one favoring insurers, then there would be no need for an insurer to insist on its use before a dispute has even arisen. Insurers should utilize arbitration only when the policyholder has consented to do so after an actual dispute occurs (which is what the suggested amendment to the Model Unfair Trade Practices Act should accomplish), rather than requiring it in boilerplate language that the policyholder is very unlikely to read, could not bargain over the provision even if she did, and could not make an
informed decision at the point of sale on the merits. True freedom of contract, combined with the fundamental right to a trial, requires a knowing relinquishment of that right, which can only occur voluntarily once a specific dispute has materialized.”

Read more:

http://eachstorytold.com/2018/07/16/naic-banning-arbitration-clauses-in-insurance-policies-why-arbitration-clauses-should-be-banned-companies-that-include-pre-dispute-mandatory-arbitration-clauses-do-so-because-it/

Aside from continuing my disability claim struggle, I hope to play a part in removing mandatory arbitration clauses in insurance policies.

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/