We are headed to this year’s GLIDM, held at the Huntington Hilton – Long Island’s biggest gathering of dentists, orthodontists, periodontists, oral surgeons, dental practice administrators and other members of the dental profession, who gather once a year for educational workshops, a well attended exhibit hall and a lot of networking.
Frankel & Newfield represents many dentists in our disability insurance law practice. That’s because dentists and those in the oral health profession face special challenges in disability insurance claims. They fall into two major categories –
Physical challenges of the profession – Dentists stand for long hours, and must exert extremely controlled forces with the hands, often in awkward positions, working small muscle groups in the hands and larger muscle groups in the arms, shoulders, neck and back. Dentistry is a physically demanding profession and over time, this takes a toll.
Challenges posed by disability insurance companies – The dentist is likely to wear two hats at their practice – a practicing health care professional and an administrator/manager. The disability insurance company will attempt to use this as a means of denying a claim. If the dentist has an own occ (Own Occupation) disability policy, the strategy may be to have the dentist say that a large percentage of their occupation is that of a administrator, and the insurance company will make the case that even if the dentist cannot practice medicine, they can still be an administrator.
These are the two biggest categories, but there are many subtler challenges along the way. Residual claims, when the dentist can still practice, but cannot handle the same number of patients as in the past, is another common issue.
If you’re heading to GLIDM, stop by our table to say hello. If you’re there tonight, we’re raffling off two tickets to a Mets vs. Yankees game – definitely worth a visit!
If you are a dentist with questions about your disability insurance policy, or are thinking about filing a claim, call our office at 877-LTD-CLAIM (877-583-2524) to learn how we can help.