Frankel & Newfield represents many chiropractors, so we understand the unique challenges that chiropractors face when they need to file a long-term disability insurance claim. That means everything from the insurance company’s aggressive examination of financial and practice records in search of other sources of income, to questioning the chiropractor’s treatments from untraditional healthcare providers – like other chiropractors, massage therapists or acupuncturists, to other means of “reviewing” a claim.
Our article, “You Can’t Afford Not To,” appears in the February 2019 issue of Chiropractic Economics. Our goal for this article was for the reader to understand and appreciate that a disability claim is not like the insurance claim that they may file for their own patients, for reimbursement of a one-time treatment. We wanted to convey how challenging filing a disability insurance claim can be. Many of our own chiropractic clients come to us after trying and failing to file a successful claim. The same can be said for attorneys, physicians and even insurance company executives; it’s not just chiropractors who face difficulties with disability claims.
The article delves into the challenges faced by chiropractors who have ancillary businesses, like selling nutritional supplements or sharing space with other care providers. Often, the insurance companies do not consider another income stream as separate from the chiropractic practice. Repositioning the chiropractor’s role as a manager of a business is one tactic we have seen repeatedly, as the insurance company seeks to define the chiropractor who cannot provide care to patients as a product distributor, or manager of other care providers.
We also examine residual benefits, also known as partial disability benefits. Depending on the policy, a claimant may have the option to file a claim if their income has fallen by more than 20% of their pre-disability level. This is easier to address with a person who works in an office as a salaried employee. There’s a lot of room for the insurance companies to push back on residual benefits, and that is exactly what they do, where they can. Our role is to protect you from that happening.
For chiropractors who are facing disability claims, we recommend working with an experienced long-term disability insurance law firm. This is too important to risk.