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Rejected for Short Term Disability

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  • Rejected for Short Term Disability

    I live/work in Massachusetts but my company headquarters are in San Francisco. I've worked for the company for 3 years and I recently met with a financial advisor and decided to sign up for short term disability. I was also recently married. The STD program at my company is voluntary and I would have to pay the premius. A few weeks later, the finance dept gave me a coverage date (Oct 1) and started deducting premius from my paycheck. Two weeks after that, I received a letter from the underwriter that I was rejected as a candidate for coverage was not covered (they offered to refund any premiums paid). Several friends who work in HR indicated they never heard of anyone being rejected for STD offered by the company. The administrator at my financial advisor's office also never heard of such a thing. She didn't even know if there was an individual plan I could apply for. Can the underwriter do this? Is this legal? Is my employer under any obligation to help me?
    Last edited by boriquamass; 11-15-2005, 06:16 AM.

  • #2
    If you did not sign up for STD when you were first eligible, then it's not uncommon for late entrants to have to meet the insurance carrier's underwriting requirements. I have to refer you back to your employer's benefits department for a specific explanation of how this works with the carrier they selected but I don't see anything illegal about the carrier denying coverage.


    • #3
      In MA, STD benefits are optional on the part of the employer. I, also, have never heard of anyone being rejected from an STD plan, but I don't know that it's illegal.

      On what basis were you rejected? Also, are you certain that it's a group STD plan, or is it possible that it's an individual plan that your employer gives you access to?
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


      • #4
        It makes sense that as a late entrant I would have to meet the underwriters standards. I don't yet know why I was rejected. I had to apply in writing to find out. There is currently no HR person at my company. The COO is filling in - so that is awkward.


        • #5
          It makes sense that as a late entrant I would have to meet the underwriters standards. Sure it does. What an insurance carrier is trying to avoid by having underwriting requirements for late entrants is individuals first signing up for benefits only when they know they're going to need them. For example, an individual passes on STD when he is first eligible and then applies for coverage five years later because he knows he needs surgery. I'm not saying that's your situation; I'm just explaining why insurance carriers have reason to have underwriting requirements for those who don't take coverage when they're first eligible.