What is an Independent Medical Examination (IME)?
An Overview

Your insurance company may ask you to undergo an Independent Medical Examination (IME).

Generally, a physician conducts the IME. Often, the company insists on picking the doctor. Broadly speaking, your insurer may request an IME if it does not agree with your doctors. Or if there is limited medical information in your file.

However, IMEs are not always truly “independent.” Often, insurance companies request IMEs in order to deny your claim. For example, the IME doctor’s primary income may come from these types of exams. Additionally, companies may unfairly use the same doctor over and over again in different claims.

What Can I Expect During an Independent Medical Examination?

  • Typically, the exam starts with an interview.
  • Often, the doctor starts with a general physical examination.
  • Next, the IME focuses on your disabling condition.
  • You may be asked to bend, lift or perform movements.
  • Throughout, the doctor looks for inconsistencies or signs of exaggeration.
  • After the exam, the doctor will prepare a report for your insurance company.

What Can I Do if I Have an IME?

First, review your policy to see if you are required to undergo an IME. Next, complete any intake forms in advance. At the exam:

  • Be cooperative and open;
  • Ask questions if you don’t understand something;
  • Discuss your symptoms fully and honestly; and
  • Connect your symptoms to your job duties.

If you are concerned about the company’s motives, talk with an attorney. A disability insurance attorney can help:

  • Determine what your policy actually requires;
  • Limit the test to certain parameters;
  • Verify the doctor’s credentials;
  • Record the exam;
  • Accompany you to the exam; and
  • Review the final report for accuracy.

I’ve you’ve been scheduled for an IME and have questions, please feel free to contact one of our attorneys directly.


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