Most policies contain provisions that require you to submit to medical examinations
and allow the company to terminate benefits if you do not attend. Some
policies only allow for a limited type of exams, while others contain
provisions that go on for several paragraphs outlining the several types of tests and exams that the company can require. So the first step is assessing whether the exam that is being required is appropriate under the terms of your policy.
If so, then the second question is whether you should be forced to
put your health at risk to secure or maintain your disability benefits.
Again, this is something that may require the intervention of an
experienced disability attorney to resolve, as it will likely initially
require an in-depth assessment of whether the insurer can obtain the
relevant information by other means. Other options include negotiating a
postponement of the IME or, if the insurer is particularly aggressive,
taking the insurer to court to determine whether these provisions are
enforceable under these particular circumstances.
Action Step: If you are concerned
about your insurer requiring an in-person IME, speak with a disability
lawyer and have him or her evaluate whether the IME is required under
your policy and whether there are other means to provide the requested
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.