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
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.
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