Now that the COVID-19/Coronavirus epidemic has reached the U.S. and spread throughout the country with no end in sight, dentists are being forced to face the reality that they may have to go without income for weeks, or maybe even months.
Some states, like California and New York are ordering dentists (and
everyone else) to close their offices and shelter-in-place. And the
American Dental Association (ADA) has called upon dentists to postpone
elective procedures for the next three weeks.
In Arizona, Governor Ducey has discontinued “all
non-essential or elective surgeries, including elective dental
surgeries, that utilize personal protective equipment or ventilators” in
an effort to preserve PPE for an anticipated spike in the pandemic. Dr.
Jennifer Enos, president of the Arizona Dental Association, has also
issued a statement asking “dentists to donate available supplies of
personal protective equipment, such as medical gloves and masks,” which
effectively would mean that dentists would need to close their offices
until those supplies become generally available again.
Given all of this uncertainty, our attorneys have been receiving a host of questions from dentists who are trying to determine if they can file a disability insurance claim
and/or how the coronavirus developments impact their disability
claim/benefits. So, for the next several weeks we are going to dedicate our blog to answering dentist’s questions about
coronavirus and disability claims under their private, own-occupation policies, in an effort to help the dental community be more informed on these important and complex legal/disability industry issues.
Each dentist’s claim for disability benefits involves different
facts, disabling conditions, policy requirements, insurance companies,
etc. While our attorneys are making an effort to share general knowledge
with the dental community and answer dentists’ questions about the
impact of the coronavirus, this not a substitute for individualized
advice from an experienced disability insurance lawyer. If you would
like to speak with our attorneys and have them take an in-depth look at
your particular situation, please feel free to contact us directly.
ADA Calls Upon Dentists to Postpone Elective Procedures, American Dental Association, March 16, 2020, https://www.ada.org/en/press-room/news-releases/2020-archives/march/ada-calls-upon-dentists-to-postpone-elective-procedures.
UPDATE on COVID-19 , Arizona Board of Dental Examiners, March 19, 2020, https://dentalboard.az.gov/.
The Latest on COVID-19 from AzDA, Arizona Dental Association, https://www.azda.org/news-publications/the-latest-on-covid-19.
Hannah Tiede, Dental surgeons postpone elective procedures to combat COVID-19 spread, KOLD, March 18, 2020, https://www.kold.com/2020/03/19/dental-surgeons-limit-elective-procedures-combat-covid-spread/.
Hannah Miller, Dentists reduce hours, postpone elective procedures to combat coronavirus, CNBC, March 19, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/19/coronavirus-dentists-reduce-hours-postpone-elective-procedures.html.