If you have a long term disability insurance claim and letters are coming to you on letterhead from The Hartford, do not be alarmed. That’s because Hartford entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Aetna’s U.S. group life and disability business in October 2017. This means that Hartford has acquired all of Aetna’s long term disability insurance claims. This acquisition makes Hartford the second largest group disability insurer in the United States with approximately $5 billion in expected earned premium, behind only the mammoth Cigna. The divestment from Aetna and acquisition by The Hartford actually makes a lot of sense. Life and disability was the only non-health insurance-related division the insurance company remaining after Aetna cut its property casualty insurance business in the mid-1990s. Life and Disability “only” brought in about $2 billion in premiums in 2016. I say “only” because Aetna recorded $63.1 billion in total revenue in 2016, and healthcare premium revenues were the vast majority of this amount. Aetna will not be completely out of the picture into the foreseen future. The acquisition includes an exclusive, multi-year collaboration in which Aetna will be offering The Hartford’s group long term disability insurance products through Aetna’s medical sales team.
However, there is a difference between collecting premiums and paying out on claims. Hartford does payout on many legitimate LTD claims. Unfortunately, Hartford does not always do the right thing and The Hartford denies many legitimate long term disability insurance claims.
We know this because our office routinely files administrative appeals for our clients when their claims have been wrongfully denied. In many of these claims, Hartford has reinstated benefits after a comprehensive review of the appeal. In those claims where Hartford continues to deny the claim, we have instituted lawsuits against the insurance company.