ERISA plans often require claimants to undergo examination by doctors selected by the plans. Even when a claimant’s treating physicians concur that he or she is totally disabled, the plans commonly seek opinions from an examining physicians regarding the claimant’s condition, prognosis, and impairment. Many claims are denied based largely, if not exclusively, on the opinions of examining physicians. It is common for claimants to challenge reliance on "independent medical evaluations" by plans and insurance carriers. After all, examining physicians often spend very little time with a claimant, have not seen the affects of the claimant’s condition over time, and arguably have less ability to assess the claimant’s credibility. What’s more, there are often allegations that the examining physician may be biased in favor of plans and carriers, which typically pay the examining physician’s bill. I have seen some independent medical examinations take less than 10 minutes.
If you are asked by the Erisa plan to goto an "independent medical examination" you should first consult an attorney if you do not have one. You should be very careful how you answer the questions posed to you by the doctor.
Most of the time the IME report comes back and minimizes or even denies your injury. The insurance companies then use the report to limit or cancel your benefits. What is unfair is that often these "independent" health care providers are in the pocket of your insurance company. They are making a substantial income because they tell the insurance company what they want to hear and it usually harms you. The same "IME" examiners appear again and again in our cases.
Predictably, the insurance industry and IME doctors defend the practice as necessary to weed out fraudulent claims. However, given the findings of many IME doctors one is hard pressed to explain how justice is served by these "independent medical examinations".
Call your experienced ERISA Detroit, Michigan Long-Term Disability attorneys today at 1-866-540-0677 to help you with your case. The Law Offices of Allan W. Ben handle ERISA cases all over the country. Contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org