The Other Insurance Issue; The Sad Hypocritical Oneby Michael Patrick Brewer on Nov. 12, 2009, under Alternative Care, Politics, Uncategorized, Veteran Legislative Update, Veteran Pals, Veterans Benefits, Veterans Global, Veterans' Spouses, Partners & Families
Following is a letter forwarded to me by a local combat veteran of the Marine Corps. His name has been deleted, but he has given permission to publish his petition for explanations for the declination of life insurance as a result of having a PTSD diagnosis. ( Note. Since this was posted the author has elected to share his name. It is Pete Bourret. He is a combat veteran of the Marine Corps who served in Vietnam.)
I am familiar with this very sad fact of life. I am equally conversant with its prevalence and the gross lack of justice involved. The impunity embedded in our nations Insurance industry is soon to become a national disgrace. The irony of the fact that a warrior can defend his/her nation and its system of capitalism and in turn not be qualified for life insurance, is beyond comprehension.
Someone, somewhere, has created some bogus science that states that Post Traumatic Stress shortens ones life span. This veteran is asking to see proof of this assertion. I am asking to see studies, from either the National Institute of Health or the VA, that indicate this confabulation.
Can you imagine the impact on a young soldier with a family when they learn that the mental health care they received on the heels of war is preventing them from protecting their very own family’s finances. I see rage on the horizon. I see class action law suits. And worse, I see the myriad of caring outreach programs at Vet Centers and VA clinics backfiring when the word travels that you are sealing off your future financial options. Who do these folks think they are? Maybe we should just draft all executives in the insurance industry first.
So the citizen soldier who is wounded in war is rendered incapable of being a full citizen in the country they just upheld. Is there a more poignant hypocrisy to be found?
We will be re-visiting this open wound in the veteran community over the next several months. Possibly, the parent company of the Citizen, Gannett, can help us out with a feature article in USA Today, which is known for its veteran and military coverage. Or are they too owned by the Insurance Industry?
November 11, 2009
PO Box 8660
Philadelphia, PA 19176-8660
Vice President, Underwriting:
This letter is in response to your companies response to my request for specific information, which I have requested on multiple occasions yet have failed to receive; a copy of your original letter will not suffice.
Please advise me if I should conclude that your determination of my uninsurability was based on my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder diagnosis in general. I ask this because I have repeatedly requested the specific information (three times) that you utilized in your determination; however, I only received several hundred pages of my VA mental health records without any specific details. Let me be as clear as I can be: I expect you to submit to me the specific language that caused your organization to draw the conclusion that I am not an appropriate candidate for life insurance.
This is my last request for this information that you have an obligation to provide to me in a timely manner. I find it ironic that I am writing this letter to your organization on Veterans’ Day, yet it seems that your company fails to honor veterans who served and became casualties of war. The fact that your organization believes that a veteran with a PTSD diagnosis is a poor candidate for a life insurance policy shows that there is great ignorance about this diagnosis within your organization. Had you bothered to check with my psychiatrist because of a concern, you would have discovered that I am much more than the basic notes that he wrote. You were too busy to do that because we know that the business of American business is the bottom line. For veterans like myself, when I volunteered to serve as a combat Marine in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968, my bottom line was to defend your freedom and to protect my fellow Marines. I guess our values do not coincide.
In closing, I ask you to re-evaluated your process for determining insurability in the area of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Regardless, it only makes sense that potential recruits to the Armed Forces should be made aware through full disclosure that serving is also hazardous to their insurability should they be traumatized by of combat. As a retired English teacher with too much time on his hands, I will gladly set the educational process in motion. I think it is time that people learn how your organization actually “supports” the troops.
Happy Veterans’ Day,