We are continuing the discussion from our last post about how insurance companies determine eligibility for benefits. A recent case out of the 8th U.S. Court of Appeals shows how heavily one insurance company relied on physician reports in a long-term disability benefit claim. The case itself did not originate in Wisconsin, but we chose it because, under some circumstances, Wisconsin courts must follow decisions from the 8th Circuit. (The 8th Circuit decides long-term disability claims brought by people in Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota.)
A couple of weeks ago we overheard someone at lunch talking about his disability claim. He was talking about a ski trip he'd taken a few years back that ended abruptly when he broke his left leg and right wrist in a nasty fall. He was laid up for weeks, and he had applied for long-term disability benefits through his job.
We know of many people who are enrolled in their employer-sponsored 401(k) type plan but who are completely at sea when it comes to allocating their retirement savings. They are grateful for the benefit, but they often end up basing their investment decision on well-intentioned but arbitrary criteria. The fund is based here in Milwaukee? Check. My brother-in-law mentioned this fund over dinner one night? Check.