[Excerpt from disability insurance attorney Edward O. Comitz’s article, The 10 Biggest Legal Mistakes Dentists Make When Filing a Claim for Disability]
MISTAKE NO. 6: Engaging in Inadequate Communication with Treating Physician
Dentists should not discuss their claim or that they are considering filing for disability insurance benefit with their treatment provider until after they have had several visits. Dentists are often reluctant to support claims for benefits if they question the motivations behind the claims. A physician who has treated, without success, the dentist making the claim will likely be more willing to cooperate. It is also important that the dentist making the claim communicate his or her symptoms and limitations to the treating physician in an organized and detailed manner so that all relevant information is recorded in the medical records, which the insurer will ultimately request. When finally speaking to the treating physician about the claim, the dentist should ensure that the treating physician understands the definition of “disability” under the insurance policy, so that he or she can accurately opine as to the inability of the dentist making the claim to work.
Action Step: Dentists should fully discuss their condition with their treating physician to ensure supportive medical records and, after several appointments, work with him or her on submitting the claim for “disability” as defined in the policy.