Disability Insurance for Doctors and Physicians
The alarming rate of disability in the U.S. has shown that disability insurance coverage should no longer be an afterthought, but rather a necessity for those who desire to protect their income if they become disabled during their career. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, there are approximately 56.7 million Americans that live with disabilities.
Disability insurance guarantees cash payments to help individuals who cannot work because of a disability. The coverage provided is purposely for the welfare and treatment of an insured person and his or her dependent family members.
As a doctor or physician in the U.S., it is essential that you protect your income with a policy that covers your specific area of the medical field. Choosing a disability insurance plan with the right definition for disability will not only provide you coverage if you become disabled during your career, but it will also ensure a continuation of benefit payments if the disability requires you to switch jobs into another less-demanding specialty within the medical line or another occupation entirely.
Why Do Doctors and Physicians Need Disability Insurance?
A report by the University of New Hampshire showed that almost 21% of people with disabilities in the U.S. live in poverty. There is the likelihood of an increase in this rate as the odds of becoming disabled either for a short or long period during your career stand at 25 percent. With such a high chance, the only personal finance option to mitigate this potential future setback is to have a disability insurance policy.
As a medical practitioner, you need to be physically and mentally fit to earn a living. If for any reason, you become unfit to carry out your professional duties, this will automatically affect your income. A situation like this will impact your general wellbeing and that of your dependent family members if you have no substantial financial backup to serve as a safety net.
Additionally, your greatest asset is your physical and mental ability to practice your medical profession. Becoming a doctor requires substantial resources and commitment, which includes years of study, different stages of licenses, registrations, and certifications. You have been equipped with the requisite skills and exceptional knowledge, which makes you a huge investment that must be protected. A protective and quality disability insurance policy is a must-have for all medical professionals.
What Kind of Disability Insurance Policies are Available to Doctors and Physicians?
There are several types of disability insurance policies available to doctors in the U.S.; you can buy individual disability insurance directly from a policy provider or a group disability insurance policy provided by your employers or your registered association.
For instance, there are Medical Association Plans, which are popular policies in the medical field and are endorsed by AMA and AAFP. As a member of any of these groups, you can purchase the plan, which operates like every other group insurance policy.
However, for both individual or group, there are two major disability insurance contracts you can choose from. They are short-term and long-term disability insurance policy types.
Short-term Disability Insurance Policy
A short-term disability insurance policy (STD) is an insurance policy either bought independently from a policy provider or provided by an employer, is designed to pay a percentage of your income for a specified period if you have a disability that prevents you from carrying out your medical duties.
Most short-term contracts benefit payments range from 40% to 60% of your income, depending on your chosen premium rate and policy level. The benefits payments generally begin after a waiting period of seven days.
Long-term disability insurance Policy
Long-term disability insurance policies, or LTD, can also be employer-provided or independently-bought. These start providing benefits to the insured immediately after the expiration of the short-term benefits.
However, the LTD offers coverage for a more extended period compared to STD. The contract agreement determines the coverage period. Some long-term contracts provide coverage for two to ten years while there are others that run as long as when the insured is 65 years of age. The waiting period can be between three to six months after the occurrence of disability.
What Should Doctors and Physicians Look for When Buying Disability Insurance Policy?
Whether you are looking into getting a short-term or a long-term plan, you can boost the quality of your disability insurance coverage with the following essentials that can be included in your policy agreement:
Own-occupation: With own-occupation disability definition, you are guaranteed your disability benefits if you cannot continue to work in your area of specialty, regardless of being engaged and earning income from another specialty or profession.
Non-cancellable: With this option in your policy, your insurer can never raise your premium payment or make adjustments to your policy.
Residual Rider: This is a partial disability insurance rider that ensures you are still paid a portion of your income if a disability condition reduces your work input and earning power.
Future Purchase or Increase Option: With increase option, as your earnings increase in the job, you can be excluded from medical underwriting (medical assessment) if you choose to buy more benefit in future.
Automatic Increase Benefit: This option gives you an automatic benefit increase after the first four to five years of the contract.
How Gold Coast Life Insurance Can Help
Do you want a customized disability insurance policy that is quality, flexible, affordable and tailored for doctors and physicians? At Gold Coast Life Insurance, we will not only provide you with a customized contract, but we will also guide you through the process and ensure you and your loved ones are well-protected.