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Report: #1428698

Complaint Review: AFLAC Short Term Disability -

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  • Reported By: Candace — Wisconsin Rapids Wisconsin United States
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  • AFLAC Short Term Disability United States

AFLAC Short Term Disability .Short Term Disability Mental Health Discrimination

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I am writing regarding the issue of Aflac’s refusal to cover mental health treatment in any of its policies. For the last six and a half years I have been the policyholder of five Aflac policies: Accident, Vision, Dental, Cancer; and Short Term Disability. In August of this year, I was no longer able to work full time and was restricted to working less than 10 hours per week due to a mental health condition as well as a recent diagnosis of PTSD. Even though I will be eventually able to go back to work full-time at some point in the near future, I cannot do that right now.  All of this has and will cost me thousands of dollars despite having health insurance. I had hoped that the policies, specifically Short Term Disability policy, would help out with the expenses that I am now facing. I was very wrong.

After submitting my claim, I was advised that none of Aflac’s policies cover any events of mental illness. Nor do they cover PTSD.  I have paid premiums for these policies for over six solid years and relied on the idea that if I was hospitalized or disabled, for whatever reason, Aflac would be there to help. They weren’t.

I’m sure they are well aware that parity laws have now forbidden health insurance companies from capping, minimizing and/or refusing to cover mental health treatment. While I realize that they are not a health insurance company, I see no logical reason why their policies should be held to a different standard. They also deal with issues of health and disability. It is discriminatory to refuse to provide coverages to the mentally ill, and it contributes to the mindset that mental illness, unlike other illnesses, is something shameful.

Mental illness is a disease of the brain. It’s no different than heart disease, cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, or some other form of physical illness. Treating those with mental illness as something to be hidden, shameful or to be feared does nothing for the patient except make seeking treatment taboo. It’s been allowed to go on for much longer than it should, despite laws like the ADA.

Additionally, when I asked about the 90 day mental health rider, which I was never informed about or offered in the 6 ½ years I have had AFLAC coverage, I was told it was only available to employees of companies who employed more than 100 employees.  So in addition to being discriminated against for having a mental illness, I am also being punished for working for a smaller company that understands my health needs.

Adding insult to injury, when I requested my policies be cancelled, I was told that I could not cancel anything other than the short term disability until the enrollment period in May – even though I have not been working full time since August – due to IRS regulations.  I find it interesting that they follow IRS regulations but not Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.  More than half of each of my paychecks now goes to AFLAC even though the coverage does me no good.  At the very least, I should have been able to collect benefits for 90 days.  I was not looking for a lifetime of benefits, just a little assistance when I needed it – which is what their policies are supposed to be for.

I am aware that I am not the only one who experienced this issues, and I was aware that "mental health" was not part of their coverage, but PTSD is not listed as something they do not cover and the 90 day mental health rider states nothing regarding companies of 100 employees or more.  Why is it that if you work for a larger company, your mental health needs somehow become legitimate??

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/12/2018 06:48 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/aflac-short-term-disability/aflac-short-term-disability-short-term-disability-mental-health-discrimination-1428698. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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