Sunday, November 9, 2008


788 Fifth Avenue, Suite 5500
New York, NY 10022

“Because Together, We Can Prevail”®

November 9, 2008

Re: Samantha Purdy, Employee No. 89B-987 – Termination

Dear Ms. Purdy,

This letter is to advise that Management has decided to terminate your employment as an Intermediate Health Claims Handling Associate. Termination is effective immediately. Please contact Human Resources for a check covering all unpaid vacation days (you have ½ day accrued). Despite your four years of service to Merciful Hand®, your hostility to company policy has required us to take action.

According to U.S. News & World Report, Merciful Hand® is one of the country’s leading health insurers. Our revenues exceeded more than $500 million per quarter in 2005 and $523 million per quarter in 2006. Current data suggests even greater growth as premiums and medical costs increase. These robust returns have led to unprecedented success for our shareholders. We take pride in their success.

But this success would not have been possible without a clear corporate mission: To maximize revenue while reducing cost. We reduce costs in a variety of ways. For example, in recent years, we have reduced employee health benefits, cut back on employee vacation time, reduced photocopier usage and eliminated flex time. Our legal department continuously redrafts our policies to include new exclusions, qualifications, limitations and grounds to deny coverage. In direct interactions with insureds, we have cut costs by rigorously applying the De Laney Protocol™ (Trade Secret -- Patent and Trademark Pending—all rights reserved) for claim denial. Whenever confronted with a claim for benefits, Claims Handling Associates are required to presume that a reason exists for denying that claim. The De Laney Protocol™ provides an expedient formula for producing denial reasons. For one, we look to see whether an insured has ever been sick in the past. We also look to see whether his premium payment was received on the date mandated by the policy. Finally, we also issue “preliminary denials,” where we initially do not have a solid reason to deny the claim, but we deny it anyway. Later, we search for a plausible reason in the policy. Upon finding a plausible reason, we promptly send notice to the insured.

In the aggregate, these methods saved Merciful Hand® billions of dollars. At the same time, revenues increased. That translates to one thing: Profit. Merciful Hand® can be proud of its industry-best Claim Denial Rate in 2007: 97%. By paying out less and taking in more, we maximize shareholder success. And that is what it is all about.

For three and half years, you were an exemplary member of the New York Merciful Hand® Claims Handling team. During that time, you masterfully applied the De Laney Protocol™. You denied 99% of all Claims that crossed your desk; and you handled an extremely large portfolio. Senior managers favorably mentioned your name at three meetings between 2004 and 2007. You were awarded the largest Christmas Bonus in your Department in 2005 ($1,500, less income, Medicare, Social Security and State and local taxes). You were promoted to Intermediate Health Claims Handling Associate in 2006 and until this year there was no reason to think that you would not continue to advance within the Merciful Hand® family.

In early 2008, you began granting more claims. At first, our managers thought it was just an anomaly, but by the second quarter you were granting every claim. Per company protocol, we began more closely monitoring your phone conversations and internet usage. You actually listened to insureds on the phone. You expressed sympathy for their predicaments. You even said that you would “do all you could to help them,” directly contradicting the De Laney Protocol™ directive No. 1: “Always tell the insured that benefits will not be paid.” You failed to call physicians to determine whether insureds had ever been sick prior to filing their claims. You granted claims even when insureds sent in their premiums late. In one especially egregious case, you granted emergency room coverage (totaling $54,276.98) to a man who suffered a heart attack, even though you knew he smoked and ate fried chicken in the past. These represented gross deviations from company policy.

For weeks, our managers could not believe how you could have lost your touch so quickly. In 2007, you were the department’s claim denial queen. By the middle of 2008, you were costing Merciful Hand®--and its shareholders--thousands of dollars.

Thankfully, our managers intensified their internet surveillance. They discovered why you were acting as you did. They discovered that, in early 2008, you began reading Christian theology books. You even wrote down quotes from these books and posted them in your “My Files” directory. Among the quotes you assembled were: “The true Christian should be guided in all his works by this thought and contemplate this one thing alone, that he may serve and benefit others in all that he does, considering nothing except the need and the advantage of his neighbor;” “The Apostle commands us to work with our hands so that we may give to the needy;” and finally: “Through the health of the body we may be able to work, to acquire, and lay by funds with which to aid those who are in need.”

Upon discovering these quotes, our managers immediately recommended your termination. We must make a few observations concerning this decision. Merciful Hand® Claims Handlers must serve only Merciful Hand®. They are not entitled to work for “the need and advantage of their neighbors,” but rather only the need and advantage of Merciful Hand®’s shareholders. You owe loyalty to the organization that pays your salary, not to “the needy.” You do not work “with your hands” to “give to the needy.” You work every day to maximize Merciful Hand®’s daily financial returns.

We are very disappointed that you corrupted your mind with these ideas. To be an effective insurance professional, you must focus your mind at all times upon the company mission, namely, to reduce company costs. For three and a half years, you did exactly that. But as soon as you began caring for “your neighbor” instead of Merciful Hand®, you betrayed your ideals as an insurance professional. Rather than considering the De Laney Protocol™, you considered “the need and advantage of your neighbor” in phone conversations with insureds. You diverted company money to pay for their medical expenses when you easily could have denied their claims on numerous technical grounds. That was your job. You ignored it.

In closing, we advise you to be careful about what you read. Your future employers—if any—will not take lightly to the idea that you seriously practice Christian love in the workplace. Your future employers—if any—will keep a close eye on you and will not tolerate deviations from their corporate missions. If you wish to resume your career as an insurance professional, we strongly advise that you either abandon your beliefs or at least keep them under wraps while at work. After all, this is the real world. To succeed here, we do not help “the needy;” we help ourselves. To do that, you remain loyal to the person paying your salary. And you do not muddy your mind with meaningless fluff about goodness or charity. Charity is for fools, unless you can get a tax deduction out of it.

We wish you the best of luck in your future employment endeavors. And we repeat our advice to cast aside your harmful beliefs before attempting to get a new job.

Yours sincerely,

Kyle A. Derringer
Senior Human Resources Director

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