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SENATE TO EXAMINE DIFFICULTIES WORKERS FACE WITH LONG-TERM DISABILITY CLAIMS

As reported by Scott Mulhauser/Erin Shields on the insurancenewsnet.com website.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) will convene a hearing on Tuesday to examine the difficulties workers face in securing benefits they are entitled to from private long-term disability insurance plans. The hearing, entitled “Do Private Long-Term Disability Policies Provide the Protection They Promise?” will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 28 in Room 215 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

At the hearing, Baucus will focus on whether private-sector long-term insurance claims are being unfairly denied or terminated by the companies providing long-term disability insurance covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The hearing will also examine how these private insurance companies have handled workers’ appeals of denials and terminations. Baucus will raise questions about possible improvements that can be made to ensure claimants and beneficiaries of long-term disability insurance plans covered under ERISA are treated fairly.

Witnesses at Tuesday’s hearing will include: Ronald Leebove, a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Diplomate at the American Board of Forensic Counselors; Mark DeBofsky, a Partner at Daley, DeBofsky & Bryant who specializes in employee benefit and disability insurance claims under ERISA and Social Security; The Honorable William M. Acker, Jr., a Senior United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama; David Rust, a Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy at the Social Security Administration; and Paul Graham, a Senior Vice President of Insurance Regulation and Chief Actuary at the American Council of Life Insurers.

WHO: Senate Finance Committee
U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Chairman
WHAT: Hearing on oversight of Private Long-Term Disability Insurance Companies
WHERE: Senate Dirksen Office Building 215
Washington, D.C. 20510
WHEN: Tuesday, September 28, 2010
10:00 a.m.

Media are encouraged to attend the hearing or to view the webcast and witness testimony at http://finance.senate.gov/hearings.