Those with disability claims should always be “guarded” in conversation, particularly when speaking to treating physicians who report to insurance companies. In December, I read at least two denial letters citing activity and travel obtained from patient notes. Doctors DO write down what you say, and that’s not a good thing from a disability claim perspective.
Of course, all of your symptoms should be shared with treating physicians, but discussing travel, family outings and activities, biking, hiking etc. is generally not a good idea. Facebook, patient notes and surveillance are the three most prevelent sources of “activity” information for insurers, and believe me, they know where to look.
TeleHealth and other electronic consultations appear to be less formal and insureds tend to share more than they should. Remember, physicians aren’t going to filter through your conversations and only document facts favorable to claims. Quite the contrary. Physicians tend to document everything without thinking what’s good for a disability claim and what’s not.
Speaking with your treating physicians is not the only place where insureds should exercise vocal restraint, keeping in mind that only answering what is asked truthfully, without elaboration is a best practice.
Insurers cannot hold against you what you do not say, therefore, it’s important to be very careful sharing information with any physician who is treating you.