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Need advice. Insurance company taking away my income. **Read MOD note Post 35**

  • 16-06-2011 10:31am
    Registered Users Posts: 518 ✭✭✭ imokyrok

    I've had Fibromyalgia/ME for twenty years and eight years ago I became too ill to continue my career and had to give up my job. I was eligible for payment under my companies Income Protection insurance with <insurance company>. It wasn't much money as I'd already gone part time in order to try to cope with my illness but it paid my mortgage.

    Over the years since, <insurance company> has regurally sent me for different medical assessments and all doctors agreed I was unfit for work. This summer they finally managed to find a doctor who obviously doesn't believe in 'invisible' conditions like Fibromyalgia and ME and has declared me fit for work despite the fact that nothing has changed in my condition. <Insurance company> will be cancelling my income and I need to appeal this decision and my pain consultant will support me in this.

    Through the ME grapevine I've heard they are doing the same to many who have been assessed by this particular doctor. Im looking for tips on dealing with the appeal and also wondering if anyone can suggest a solicitor who would have the interest and experience in fighting Insurance companies on behalf of patients like me. I need to get a successful appeal through as fast as possible and so if anyone has any advice for me I be very grateful.



  • Registered Users Posts: 393 ✭✭ skippy2

    All i can say is fight them. I had a bit of a fight with my Insurance company also through Income protection Policy through work for a different condition. Maybe get your company doctor to assess you because the company cannot let you back to work until certified by a doctor, "their doctor" as "fit for work" so that might be worth a try.

    Do not let them win on this one as they will do anything to avoid paying. Also threaten them with going to the Financial Services Ombudsman if they do remove your payments. Keep all documentation and do everything in email/writing

  • Registered Users Posts: 518 ✭✭✭ imokyrok

    skippy2 wrote: »
    All i can say is fight them. I had a bit of a fight with my Insurance company also through Income protection Policy through work for a different condition. Maybe get your company doctor to assess you because the company cannot let you back to work until certified by a doctor, "their doctor" as "fit for work" so that might be worth a try.

    Do not let them win on this one as they will do anything to avoid paying. Also threaten them with going to the Financial Services Ombudsman if they do remove your payments. Keep all documentation and do everything in email/writing

    Thanks for your post. My consultant ( who has scheduled me for surgery later in the month) sent them a blistering letter and they decided to get a third opinion. I attended that third 'opinion' today - a neurologist who informed me he wasn't interested in seeing fibromyalgia patients. I will keep fighting. The financial ombudsman will be hearing form me shortly if this appeal goes against me. Might even give Uncle Joe a shout! ;)

  • Registered Users Posts: 18 dinelli

    How did you get on with your fight against the insurance company?

    I'm going through a similar situation at the moment and it's not looking good for me :(

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,644 ✭✭✭ SerialComplaint

    Why don't y'all give David Norris a call? He seems to be expert at getting insurance companies to pay out on disability.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14 mags1076

    Im in the same situation with <insurance company> I have chronic Fatigue just been told they will stop my payments shortly after attending a medical assesement in September. I had to visit a doctor in <location>. Am in total shock as would love to go back to work but am exhausted all the time dont know what Im going to do. Dont even know where to start with my appeal its too tiring to think about.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14 mags1076

    Any update on your appeal?

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4 maryjune

    Hi there,

    First time posting here so hope I am doing it right.
    I am in a similar situation to yourselves. I have Income Protection with <insurance company> and have been to see two of their doctors at this stage.

    Of course and surprise, surprise, they are refusing to acknowledge the severity of my Fibromyalgia.
    I think we should name the doctors who are making these decisions for <insurance company>
    I wonder if it would be beneficial for us if we could establish whether they are more or less medically qualified with regard to Fibromyalgia than the consultant rheumatologists that have diagnosed and are treating us.

    Theyse doctors are affecting the lives of people who have enough to contend with because of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue.They are adding to their distress by recommending the cutting off of their payments.

    What happened to "First do no harm" in the medical profession.:confused:

    I understand that there are people who make false insurance claims but when it is supported by doctor and consultant reports I don't understand why <insurance company> do not wish to accept this. They were quick enough to accept our money when we took out the policies.

    Anyway, please let us know how ye get on and I will do the same

  • Registered Users Posts: 393 ✭✭ skippy2

    Would a stiffly written letter from your consultants/doctors asking <insurance company> directly are they calling them liars because that seems to be the upshot of it if they do not take the word of a consultant.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4 maryjune

    I guess it should be of some help but would consultants be willing to take the time to write such a letter for us? I asked my GP to write a comprehensive letter outlining all my symptoms and all she managed to do was write a note stating I was suffering from Fibromyalgia and in her opinion currently unfit for work. Obviously this was of no help. I

  • Registered Users Posts: 14 mags1076

    I now have to return to my consultant to get him to write a letter for me as you say Skippy2 the consultant is far more qualified to make this diagnosis than some doctor who for me obviously didnt listen to a word I had said and only checked my height and weight and then made this great diagnosis that yes I did have chronic fatigue but could go back to work in 3-4 weeks time!!! One other interesting thing is that it seems to be that <insurance company> send us all to the same clinic for this wonderful Doctor to say we are fine to return to work I wonder if is because its almost a fore gone conclusion what the report will be. Strange we are all miracally cured of our ailments just by the Doctors at this clininc.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4 maryjune

    Obviously the doctors that do assessments for <insurance company> have healing hands because as you say Mags, we are miraculously cured when we go to see them.

    Is it a waste of time, money and resources to be attending GP's, Rheumatologists and other medical professionals when all people like us need do is ask <insurance company> to sent us to their medical assessors whereby we are miraculously cured in one quick consultation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 518 ✭✭✭ imokyrok

    Good news folks. My appeal was successful. I'm still in shock!. As I said before my consultant wrote a stiffly worded letter to <insurance company> on my behalf. They then said I had to go to yet another consultant of their choice. So they sent me to see a neurologist. That neurologist was pretty unpleasant on the day and indeed he said to me that "most neurologists don't believe in fibromyalgia" When I pointed out that neurologists in the US are the main consultants for treating FM he said "well I've no interest in treating fibromyalgia patients". Talk about dismissive.

    The only symptoms he was interested in hearing about were my migraines which are very severe and frequent - (common in people with fibromyalgia). I made sure to document the entire conversation as soon as I left the surgery and wrote to <insurance company> about the matter. Anyway in the end I got word that my appeal had been granted.

    With regard to that doctor in <location> I think <doctor> is a disgrace and obviously hasn't kept up to date with research in ME and FM. <Doctor> quoted papers and a book long out of date in <doctor's> report (and a book that was considered an outlier even in it's day). <Doctor> also used the wrong diagnostic terminology to describe <snip> findings during the physical exam - which was the most cursory physical exam I've ever received. <Doctor> just doesn't believe in the conditions. <Doctor> said in her report that I'd made no effort to return to work. - This despite knowing I had had 5 nerve block procedures under general anaesthetic in the last two years and am now scheduled for the implantation of electrodes to try to decrease my pain and improve my quality of life. If that's not trying to overcome a condition I don't know what is.

    My consultant read <the> report and said and I quote "<Doctor> writes the same bloody report for everyone , the clown". So <doctor is> obviously well known for being an <insurance company? stooge. I'm thinking of making a formal complaint to the medical council. I keep thinking of all the people who are too stressed out or otherwise unable to fight these people and left poverty stricken despite having paid their premiums.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4 maryjune

    I am so glad for you that you have won your appeal. Well done you!

  • Registered Users Posts: 284 ✭✭ AnnaStezia

    The way that you have been treated was disgraceful. I am glad that you won your point.
    A formal complaint to the financial regulator might be a good idea.

  • Registered Users Posts: 518 ✭✭✭ imokyrok

    Sadly Annastesia I'm just one of many of the <insurance company> dependent patients in the Fibro/ME/CFS community being impacted by their latest hired gun. Hard to know what's the best thing to do since we have no access to advocates on our behalf. But I'd definitely advise people to fight- all the way to the courts if necessary. <Doctor's> 'expertise' wouldn't stand a chance in a court up against a qualified rheumatologist or Pain Consutant etc imo.

    I'm currently recovering from surgery to having had the spinal cord implant so it will be a while before I'm in a place to think about what's next. I wish some organisation was available that would be willing to go to bat for us all- I know how hard it is for sick people to maintain the momentum to fight a large company like that. I'm told that most give up at the first hurdle and that is what <insurance company> depends on happening.

    When you say financial regulator - do you mean the insurance ombudsman. I don't really know about such things.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3 michaela 56

    I have chronic fatigue since 2003 but continued to work. In 2008 I was diagnoised with fibromyalgia.I also have ibs,asthma,hiatus,depression,sinus. Since I developed the fm it became impossible to work and to cut a story short I was retired from work on grounds of ill health in 2010. <insurance company> continue to review me regularly.So far I have been to 3 Rheumatologists and they have called to my home 3times. Also I have had an CPAD assessment which is carried out over 2days and lasts 3hours both days. I am wiped out completely by all this. Basically they want to find a lope hole to stop my payment.
    Just wondering has anybody experienced this form of intimidation / bullying and would appreciate any help /ideas you may have.
    I am too tired to fight on.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3 michaela 56

    Has anyone out there had a CPAD assessment with <insurance company>

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,636 ✭✭✭✭ Graces7

    My heart goes out to you all re this.

    I was misdiagnised in the UK for three decades. As mentally ill; and bucket diagnoses eg personality disorder. The system there is different of course, or was then and the abusive drs were quite happy to sign me off. EVenw hen I was wheelchair bound, I had the same kind of degrading and draining fight for mobility allowance; the same kind of disbelief and what I can only call corruption that so many of you are facing., I was in rental accommodation and after the three months on full pay ( teaching) went on to disability.

    At every turn I was blacklisted by the drs; the only time I had a fair hearing on a home visit was from a dr new to the area who had not yet heard my "reputation". I was then awarded mobility for life.

    At no time was there ever any understanding of my illness and it was only some 15 years ago that I learned the truth, from a single mention by a consultant and then the internet. ie M.E. Then a good dr and a proper case history and a note on my medical records, that I was never mentally ill but it was always M.E
    I left the UK then for ever. So much corruption.

    Yet I learned that I exchanged one illness that was clearly ( !) my faulty, for another that was not always believed in; yet even so here in Ireland atttitudes are better on the whole. I turned 60 and qualified for retirement pension was to shed a great burden. No one can challenge my income now.

    And yes. fight them on this, but take care of your needs first. I did not always do that Do not let them grind you down as they did me.

    It has all left me with a deep distrust of drs, and I never see the one am registered with here, I get repeat prescriptions by post after explaining by letter that getting to see her would be too stressful etc. I question and research any meds etc myself.

    michaela; I have all the problems that you have.

    Sorry ; I do not understand the Irish system; can you not go on to disability and mortgage relief etc, if IL does their worst?

  • Registered Users Posts: 37,294 ✭✭✭✭ the_syco

    imokyrok wrote: »
    My consultant read her report and said and I quote "She writes the same bloody report for everyone , the clown". So she's obviously well known for being an IL stooge. I'm thinking of making a formal complaint to the medical council.
    PM each other to confirm the name of the doc (don't think mods would be comfortable naming any doc in public), and if it is the same doc, complaint to the Medical Council.

    If all of we write a letter of complaint about the doc, and enclose the letter that the doc gave to you, maybe the doc's license would get revoked for malpractice?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1 Casey53

    Am a suffer of fibromyalgia and have just lost appeal with <insurance company>. Had CPAD assessment - the report practically called me a liar!! Also attended the doctor in <location> - requested by <insurance company>. <Doctor> maintains I'm fit to return to work after just talking to me for less than half an hour!! The stress and anxiety being placed on people by <insurance company> is unacceptable and soul destroying. I've taking advice and am in the process of writing to <insurance company> asking them to reconsider this unjust decision.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3 michaela 56

    same old story as you all. my payment stopped and have to appeal. Am so exhausted don't have energy to fight them. Doctor in <location> basically said I was in full health and for me to return to work. All these doctors are on the side of <insurance company> so it doesn't matter what we say as they don't want to believe us. Amazing the way all their doctors have healing hands and undermining my own consultant / dr. Its bizarre the whole thing and disgrace <insurance company> get away with it. :confused::confused::confused:

  • Registered Users Posts: 7 snap2012

    Hi all, I'm in the same situation. I visited this <insurance company> doctor in <location> for half an hour and <doctor> has denied my insurance claim. To make things even better I found out that they never used any information from my rheumatologist in their decision. I have been suffering with fibro for years and continued to go to work when I was in extreme pain and fatigue all the time. So now I am in an appeal situation and am scared that the appeal will fall on deaf ears. Arrggghhhh, this is so stressful. I cannot believe this is allowed to happen. Even if they do change their decision I'm afraid that they will haunt me for as long as it takes to get me off their books. We pay <insurance company> a lot of money for the peace of mind knowing that if we ever get sick we will still have some sort of income to survive. This is how we're treated. Crazy... If there is a letter to the Ombudsman let me know, I'm in.

  • Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭ Azures

    I also had my appeal denied after a secret appeal hearing by <insurance company>. I sent them 4 independent reports which contradicted their doctor and they still used their doctors to deny my claim on appeal. I still don't know the contents of their appeal medical report or any reasons for their refusal. All I received was a standard five line refusal email.
    I am making a medical council complaint against the first doctor's report and I am taking legal arbitration. I wonder what percentage of reviews and appeals are denied? It is like America, deny deny deny every claim. I don't think anyone should walk away after having their claim illegitimately withdrawn, but should take it to the ombudsman and arbitration. <Insurance company> should give this information when they deny the claim, which they did nor give me. they are getting away with destroying lives and not following the law and regulations. I have a physical disability.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 pjmmoriarty

    Hey Guys and Gals, Hurt my back at work been out for 10 months now,Income protection insurance by <insurance company>, Been seen by <insurance company> doc , my own doc and i am out until at least next may and both sent in reports to <insurance company> . They said there was insufficent info in them and now they want to send an assessor to my home for a 3 hour assessment . Its been nearly 5 months waiting for them to make a decission to pay or now. Its not that much money and between the pain, stress and depression , I feel like jumping out a window. But I never heard of an assessment being done in your own home. I have to use a walking stick at times and the other furnature to help me balance.
    My question is has any one had to have one of these assessors come you your home before for assessment.

    Kind regards


  • Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭ Azures

    They have sent someone to me at home twice, 'a nice little chat,' it seemed pretty pointless but Im sure they were up to some sort of information gathering. Tell the truth but don't expand too much on your answers! It's at your home so you can set the agenda.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3 warrior2012

    Hi All
    I suffer from depression and anxiety and <insurance company> declined my Income Protection claim. I am waiting for the report from my consultant to appeal.

    1) Did you send your appeal to <insurance company> on your own or you asked a solicitor for help?
    (Somebody gave me advise that I should find solicitor but I am not sure if it makes any sense at this stage.)

    2) Did you send to <insurance company> any other documents than the specialist report?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 connber

    Hi All,
    These stories are just like mine. I am being sent for a CPAD. They are waiting to get a practitioner from the UK to administer it . I have appealed their decision to deny me my Income Protection which ceased on Jan 1st. I attended their well known doctor in <location>. He was out of order during my examination and I complained. I reckon that's the only reason that they didn't turn down the appeal.But they will. Does anyone know what this CPAD entails?. Also has anyone ever had a successful outcome from the Ombudsman?
    I would also appreciate if anyone knows a solicitor who has an interest in defending Fibromyalgis/CFS patients. I also have very severe osteoporosis.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1 Geri Fennelly

    I'm in same boat but further down the line and on route to ombusman.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4 connber

    I'm in same boat but further down the line and on route to ombusman.
    Sorry to hear it has gone that far. Still think that this needs to be highlighted as it seems to be a divide and conquer strategy on the part of <insurance company>. It will require action by a group to halt this is so sad to see so many exhausted people having to fight for their rights

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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,196 ✭✭✭ the culture of deference

    did the <location> doctor work here

    If you wish to make a complaint about a doctor, please contact the Medical Council rather than posting names here. Thank you.