Petitioning Joint Committee of Financial Services

Stop Private Disability Insurance Discrimination against People with Mental Disabilities

Short and long-term disability insurance companies are denying or arbitrarily are limiting wage replacement benefits to people disabled by mental disabilities.  Workers, employers or both pay premiums for years, only to have those private insurers either deny people with mental disabilities benefits altogether or limit payments to shorter periods than people with physical disabilities.

These insurance companies have never been able to show that it costs more to insure people with mental disabilities than physical disabilities.  These insurers are making millions while denying people who are disabled by mental conditions the wage replacement protection that the disabled workers thought their policies would provide. While these corporations profit, those who are denied prematurely lose their private

disability  benefits and are often forced to rely on state and federal assistance programs such as SNAP, fuel assistance and are frequently at risk or result in losing their homes.

Supporting legislation to stop this discrimination would save the tax payers of Massachussetts and the whole country.  The insurance companies are shifting this

cost to society. Insurance companies must not be allowed to profit from stigma against persons with mental conditions which leads to this type of discrimination.

Those of us utilizing these disability policies want to return to work.  While aspiring to recovery and employment, we need to be able to be able to depend on our private disability insurance benefits to assist in our recovery.

Please help stop the private insurance companies from discriminating against us all.

In the past, bills to stop discrimination like this have died in the legislature due to the lobbying of insurance companies and big business.  We  need to fight back.  Please tell your legislators that you support statutes that prohibit discrimination in disability insurance policies.

Thank you for your support.

Letter to
Joint Committee of Financial Services
Dear Honorable Members of the Joint Committee of Financial Services,
Please support House bill 836. It will provide equitable benefits for all disabilities. There will be the same monitoring and criteria testing for benefits as physical disabilities.
This discriminatory practice has affected families for over 20 years.
The courts need your guidance as the American with Disabilties Act is not being interpreted as it was intended to protect ALL disabilities.

There is no justification to pay the same premium for less benefits. People with menal health difficulties are already disadvantaged economically. This makes matters worse and increases stress and decreases the ability to get better as the stress becomes intolerable.
People depend on public benefits when they have already paid for a private policy.

Please do not let the insurance companies continue with the status quo.
It is fundamentally wrong. There is no justification other than stigma for this class of disabled individuals.

Thank you


Your constituents of MA Ask You to Support House Bill 836

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