As you may be aware, in December 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the release of a Final Rule to strengthen consumer protections for private-sector workers making claims for benefits from their workplace disability insurance plans. This action ensures that disability claimants will receive a full and fair review of their claims, as required by ERISA section 503. You can review the full Fact Sheet on the DOL website.

The changes are significant in that they have created additional administrative procedures for insurers, plan fiduciaries, and plan sponsors to follow. The new rules add important procedural protections and consumer safeguards for disability benefits claims. They increase transparency, protect claimants from conflicts of interest, and ensure that claimants have a fair opportunity to respond to the evidence and reasoning behind a decision.

Committed to doing what’s right

Many of the new requirements are consistent with LifeMap’s current claims philosophy and procedures -- particularly regarding the independence and impartiality requirements; however, we are taking additional steps to demonstrate and document our compliance with the new ruling.

LifeMap is in the final steps of our operational implementation, including updating applicable disability claims processes, procedures, and member communications to ensure they meet the formalized requirements of the DOL. We are on track to be in full compliance of the rule by the April 1st deadline.