Is Your Financial Future as an Orthopedic Surgeon Vulnerable because You Don’t Understand the Terms of Your Northwest Mutual Long Term Disability Policy?
Here’s a rhetorical question. When is orthopedic surgery not automatically considered an occupation on your long term disability policy?
That’s an important question to know the answer to because you might be jeopardizing you rights to long term disability benefits if you become disabled.
Some long term disability carriers, like Northwestern Mutual may deny long term disability claims on the fact that “surgery is not a substantial or material duty of your occupation as an orthopedic surgeon” by looking at the number of surgeries or percentage of income you generate from surgeries. Companies like Northwest will say that your occupation is not an orthopedic surgeon but rather an office/clinical, or even a forensic orthopedist.
It’s important that you review the definition of your occupation in your policy. Some policies will define occupation as the “occupation at the time disability” others will have specialty language such as “the insurer is exclusively engage in a medical specialty for which board certification is available.”
Regardless of the definition of occupation you must understand that the long term disability carrier is going to be looking to deny your claim on the basis that you are not disabled from your “occupation”. Don’t play games with your long term disability thinking that the long term disability carrier will pay simply because you are a “orthopedic surgeon.”
Nancy Cavey, Northwestern Long Term Disability Claim denied attorney, offers free no obligation consultations for orthopedic surgeons to evaluate their long term disability policies.