Duty to Accommodate? unreasonable demands for privacy waivers and medical records

My wife has degenerative bone disease that required her to get a hip replacement, that failed, and was done again (revision) …she will never get better and each year things get worse …due to her age her surgeon has refused to replace her knees and other hip at this time for fear of revsions required as well.

In 2011 -2013 her work insurance, cpp and life ins. all declared her totally and permanently disabled after doing their own internal investigation. We have been told that those declarations change her legal status and all future contact must accommodate the demonstrated protected ground of disability.

CPP, and her LTD have modified their reporting to simply confirmation letter annually that she fills …the life insurance company just didn’t contact her anymore… however they changed medical investigation company/clerks in 2017.

This new medical company ignored the fact that the life co had already declared her a protected person and demanded she do all the paperwork again. she did. Then in 2020 head office wrote her announcing they had cancelled her benefit for failure to comply with a supposed 2020 request to do it all again.

We had moved in 2018 and notified the insurance company and for that matter their insurance agent sat in our new kitchen to update our policies…yet despite the obvious that they had our information and knew where to send the cancellation letter… their medical investigation company claimed they sent the request to our old address. When questioned they said that even left telephone message for us on our old phone which was an obvious false statement.

The insurance company reinstated the benefits once it was clear they failed to act responsibly… and we didn’t hear from them again other than to have then say that may ask again for records in the future.

Complicating matters is we don’t have a doctor now and have been reduced to walk in virtual clinics for healthcare in our new town and are on a 5 year waiting list to get a real GP … we will be removed from the waiting list if we go back to our semi retired doctor that is about 200kms away.

Today the lifeco is demanding a complete medical and privacy waiver package again with all its burdens to get 10 year old medical reports that they already have and all the invasive releases into our privacy …all of which that they already know will serve no probative value because they have declared her totally and permanently disabled for over a decade now …not to mention the complications it will cause to our precarious healthcare arrangements…they know this is an unreasonable burden and intimidating yet they do it anyways.

My concern is that they appear to be acting improperly …based on past behavior the intent here appears to deny her benefit by forcing her to comply with unreasonable paperwork demands…

Taken together it appears to me that the life insurance company is willfully engaging in unlawful business practice, unethical licensed insurance regulations, running a foul of the OHRC, and a violation of privacy legislation …disabled people should not be punished because they are disabled and the company simply doesn’t want to pay…Should we be seeking tribunal, court or other third party involvement to get an accommodation for reasonable reporting practices? Should we demand a copy of total file from them to see if they are actually doing medical reviews or are just being frivolous and punitive?

Do you have a copy of the paperwork you sent in originally? My doctor just sent a one page letter stating that there was no improvement from the report provided on (or if true that her condition has continued to worsen). Her walk-in doc should be able to do that if you have the original paperwork to show them. Or even if you don’t they should be able to say that her condition is not improving and is not expected to improve.

I would also start to request an update of their file every time they request one from you.

Also consider escalating it to a manager and filing a complaint with the insurance ombuds in your province. When my insurance company was behaving badly (failing to pay on time with no notification) I put them on notice with a letter marked “with prejudice” - that I would hold them responsible for my losses if I was unable to renew my mortgage because it happened again. Somehow that kicked my file to a separate department, a new claim manager and a new less intensive file management status of mostly ignoring me which relieved a lot of the stress that they were going to try to screw me over.

I think duty to accommodate is the wrong legal concept, I think the right concept is to say that they are acting in bad faith requesting extensive updates on a deteriorating condition during a pandemic. They have a duty to act in good faith that they’ve already messed up once. Did you watch David Brannen’s webinar on update forms from last week? If not ask his office for the link, it’s useful to understand what you do and don’t have to do.

no …not sure where to find it…do you have a link?

Contact David Brannen and ask for Issue 109 of Resolute Insider LTD ‘Update Forms’ - How to Avoid the Traps

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