What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is an extremely controversial illness that effects thousands of individuals around the country. According to the Center for Disease Control:
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks; laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides, and reducing tick habitat. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tickborne diseases as well.
On August 8, 2011 a FedEx employee and his Tennessee disability attorney filed a lawsuit against FedEx and Aetna, Inc. in the United States Federal Court for the insurer’s “wrongful refusal to pay Long-Term Disability benefits due.” As an employee benefits insurance plan, the Aetna plan is considered a welfare benefit plan, meaning that the plan’s administration must comply with the Employee Retirement Insurance Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). And, according to the employee and his Tennessee disability attorney, Aetna violated ERISA when the insurer did not fully and fairly review Smith’s disability claim and breached its fiduciary duty to Smith.
The main objective of having disability insurance is to act as a bulwark for unforeseen circumstances. However, even the best of intentions can be foiled when the disability insurance companies that you have a contract with doesn’t play fair, as can be seen by the magnitude of lawsuits filed against them. For example, the CIGNA Group Insurance (CIGNA) was recently sued by several disgruntled Employee Benefits Plans’ participants for violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in several states across the country due to the way CIGNA handled their claims for disability benefits. Let us take a closer look at the lawsuits that was filed at the courts.
It can be very frustrating when you have a disability policy through your employer–or even on your own–and still have to engage in legal action in order to receive the payments that are rightfully yours. This is especially frustrating for those who find themselves unemployed because of the disability and relied on receiving the disability payments to carry them through until they can go back to work–or at least until they are able to collect Social Security.