Your source for the latest health, disability and Insurance news and tips

Can you look to short-term disability post-surgery?

Can you look to short-term disability post-surgery_

Learning that you will need to undergo surgery is often something of a mixed bag. The procedure will likely cure, correct or improve the underlying condition but can leave you sidelined.

Missing a few days or even a week of work might not be too troublesome financially, but what if your recovery lasts for several weeks or months? Your recuperation time may have you turning to short-term disability coverage for financial relief.

In general, short-term disability policies will cover surgical recovery if requirements concerning the following elements are met:

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Medical necessity
  • Elimination period

Pre-existing condition

Private short-term disability insurance generally does not cover surgery recovery relating to pre-existing conditions. An individual can’t receive a diagnosis, schedule a procedure, and then purchase short-term disability.

A person will need to have procured short-term disability beforehand. Even then, most policies dictate surgical recovery is not covered until a year after it has taken effect.

Experts indicate an individual should consider other options if they don’t have coverage. For instance, a patient can apply for a short-term loan. While acquiring debt might not be ideal, it can help ensure basic living expenses are covered during convalescence.

Medical necessity

Even if an individual already has private short-term disability insurance, coverage for surgery recovery isn’t guaranteed. It won’t be covered unless the procedure is deemed medically necessary.

For a procedure to be deemed medically necessary, it should be proven to, prevent or treat an injury, illness or other condition. Medical standards should also be properly met.

Chances are good the insurer will request a statement from the surgeon verifying this is the case.

We’ll continue this discussion in our next post, examining elimination periods and elective surgery.

Source: Growing Family Benefits, “Does short-term disability insurance cover surgery recovery?” Kevin Haney, May 25, 2016

Call our experienced, top-rated national disability attorneys at 800-458-4577 or send us an email.

We offer free consultations on all insurance matters, including free policy analysis and free claim help.

Request a Free, Confidential Case Review.