On December 31, 2020, New York Life completed its acquisition of all of Cigna’s group disability, accident, and life insurance business. As a result, your Cigna benefit claims are now administered by “New York Life Group Benefit Solutions.” This change applies even if your Cigna claim was approved, and you have been receiving benefits since before the acquisition. Most individuals already on disability benefits noticed the change from Cigna to New York Life on all correspondence by the end of 2021.
Another point of confusion for many people is the fact that their claim was with Cigna (and now with New York Life) but their insurance policy was issued by Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”). LINA was a subsidiary controlled by Cigna and is now a subsidiary of New York Life. LINA is the actual insurance company that issues and underwrites the majority of these disability insurance policies whereas New York Life Group Benefit Solutions handles the administration of the disability claims and decides who gets approved to receive benefits under the LINA policies.
As part of the transition, most Cigna claims employees continued working in their same positions at New York Life with the idea that your claims and benefits would not be affected by the change of ownership. However, some of our clients have noticed some increased difficulties and delays, especially with regard to notices and communication with New York Life. If you acquired your disability insurance coverage through your private employer, your claim is most likely governed by a federal law known as ERISA that provides certain protections for employees that include requiring disability insurers to provide certain notices and imposing deadlines for insurers to decide claims and notify you of claim decisions. If you have experienced delay or difficulty communicating with New York Life about your claim you are entitled to consult an attorney to represent you on your claim and enforce your rights under ERISA.