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Standardized disability claim forms now available


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The Canadian Medical Association is taking steps to simplify the forms-completion process. For two years, the CMA has worked with the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association to standardize insurance claim forms.

By Kelly Higdon

Filling out paperwork can be a major inconvenience for everyone including physicians. This activity takes time away from providing direct patient care and, in many cases, the main purpose of these forms is to assist the patient financially. The patient’s financial health can play a key role in their physical and/or mental health, so this task remains an important part of many physicians’ job of caring for the well-being of patients.

Why are there so many different kinds of forms for patients with disabilities? The answer? Various programs offer financial assistance to these patients, and each program has different requirements for assessing eligibility.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is taking steps to simplify the forms-completion process, and there is some positive news to report on this front. For two years, the CMA has worked with the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) and their member companies, which account for 99% of Canada’s life and health insurance business, to standardize claim forms in three areas:

  • for people with a disability that is expected to last for only a short time;

  • for people who have a long-term disability (LTD);

  • for those already claiming LTD benefits but must supply a health update to the insurance company.

Each of the new forms is easier to complete and seeks only information that is relevant to the patient’s disability claim. Gone, for instance, are requests for the patient’s full medical history. Every CLHIA member company now uses the same three forms instead of the dozens that used to exist.

The three standardized disability claim forms are now available on the Insurance Companies page of the CMA website.

Many of your patients may still show up with a claim form that does not look like one of the new, standardized versions. Old versions of these forms remain in circulation because some employers have not yet updated the claim forms in their files. However, as long as your patient is a customer of a CLHIA member company, you can use the new and simpler form instead.

While paperwork may always be inconvenient, inroads are being made to help reduce this burden. The CMA will continue to pursue this issue and hopes to announce more progress in the near future. – CMA News

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Nexus is published quarterly for Newfoundland and Labrador's physicians. It is a forum for the exchange of views, ideas and information for members.