Healthcare Professionals Should be Allowed to Manage their Part-Time Disability and Return to Work
Once a claimant’s physician decides that he or she has recovered to the point that working part-time is possible, many traditional group long-term disability (LTD) policies force the claimant to choose to either work part-time or lose their benefits.
Many standard group LTD contracts have harmful part-time disability provisions that can include maximum capacity or “optimal ability” language that gives the carrier the right to assume that the claimant can work more than they are currently and offset the healthcare professional’s benefit accordingly.
What healthcare professionals need is a group LTD policy that supplements their existing Individual Disability Insurance (IDI) policy. An IDI Supplement policy will allow the disabled healthcare professional to choose if and when to return to work part-time and in what capacity.
Healthcare professionals expect their disability policies to understand that they are healthcare professionals and know how to manage their return to work.
Look for contracts that provide a 24-month return-to-work incentive that allows partially disabled claimants to receive a full monthly disability benefit, with no offsets, if the benefit in addition to work earnings and other income does not exceed 100% of pre-disability earnings.
Look for the “Best of Both Worlds” calculation
After the return-to-work period has ended, a good IDI supplement contract will calculate partial disability benefits using both the proportionate loss formula and the 50% offset formula. Once both numbers are calculated, the higher number will be used to pay benefits.
Good group LTD contracts treat healthcare professionals like healthcare professionals who can manage their own return to work. Don’t let your clients settle for a policy that will cause issues at claim time.