I signed up for a short term disability from Aflac in November of 2005 with policy taking effect in January of 2006. At that time I did not have any reason to believe that I would be needing to utilize the service however it was open enrollment time and I knew I would not be able to sign up for the service for another year.
I began to experience pain in my neck and back and along with the numbness in my hand I feared that I was experiencing a stroke. I visited my primary care physician in December of 2005 who referred me to a neurologist in the same month.The neurologist ordered x-rays and an MRI which were not performed until the following month (January 2006). Since the neurologist was unable to diagnose the source of the ailment without the test results he prescribed a pain medication to me until the diagnosis could be made.After reviewing my test results in late January the neurologist diagnosed my problem as a ruptured disc.The doctor discussed several treatment options at this time to include physical therapy, steroid injections and as a last resort surgery. The physical therapy treatment began in February of 2006 and was unsuccessful. Next the steroid injections were started at the beginning of March 2006. After experiencing no relief from the malady I finally agreed to have the disc replaced surgically. The operation took place in August of 2006.
It is now October of 2006 and my claim has been denied after 8 weeks of a constant runaround. I have read each and every one of the complaints against Aflac and the common theme is to deny all claims and look for loopholes to avoid fulfilling the insurance contract. The customer service department has denied receiving faxes of which I have retained the journal that proves the fax was accepted sucessfully. The customer service rep has basically lied by saying it takes 4- 5 hours to receive a fax.
Anyone can plainly see from the dates I have provided that I am entitled to recover on my claim. Aflac (who apprently insulates itself from scrutiny by not allowing you to talk an auditor) has denied my claim based on my first Doctor visit in December stating that I received treatment. I was prescribed pain medication until I could be treated. Pain medication is not a cure. That's like saying that strep throat can be cured by tylenol. The tylenol is prescribed until the strep test is done by the lab and then the antibiotics are prescribed. The antibiotics are the treatment not the tylenol. Same scenario here except the actual diagnosis and treatment did not begin until February of 2006.
In short Aflac is just a huge rip-off and I now intend to contact the insurance commission as advised in a prior posting. Next I intend to file a claim with the better Business bureau and finally I intend to send an e-mail to everyone that works in the hospital that I work in outlining all of my experiences with Aflac. Hopefully I will be able to steer some people clear of the Aflac rip-off.