MetLife Requires Time Travel

New Insurance “Prior Condition”?


MetLifeMetLife wants me to go where no other MetLife customer has ever gone: Travel back in time to mail a document to satisfy a deadline stuck in the past by a confused MetLife bureaucracy. On April 22 MetLife wrote a letter demanding a document by April 19 to “reinstate” a policy MetLife wanted to pay off prematurely. The letter arrived on May 6. My response:


Dear MetLife:


Your April 22 letter is, well, rather odd. It asks me to send a document by April 19. Is MetLife asking me to travel back in time to a place where I can make that happen? By the way, another department probably received what you want. I sent it April 1.


A different MetLife department is sending monthly checks I am not cashing because another department warned if I cash just one, the reinstatement is cancelled forever. I sent back two, but two more have come. Are you sending them in the hope I’ll cash one?


I have to hand it to you guys. I mean literally: if you want the latest 2 checks, send someone for them or send a prepaid Fed Ex envelope addressed to a MetLifer who knows what to do with them.


Had Medicare done bizarre stuff like this, would MetLife call it inefficient and needlessly costly?


Charles J. Selden


Consumerist Takeaway: Cashing it in now would be financially beneficial for MetLife because a long-term payout uses dollars unadjusted for inflation. (Good for MetLife, bad for consumers.) Not cashing it in allows the fund to grow for a bigger one-time payoff to me later. Insurance companies battle federal regulation that would protect consumers from vague language. 


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