Disability Insurance for Orthopedic Surgeons

Physicians like orthopedic surgeons hold some of the most esteemed professions in America, and with that prestige often comes a large salary. One of the best ways to protect your income against the uncertainty of life is to purchase disability insurance in case you are not longer able to practice due to an injury or illness.

This high salary does not come without a cost. Owning a medical degree can be very expensive. The Association of American Medical Colleges reveals that a four-year medical degree could cost an average of $278,455 or $2017,866 for private and public schools respectively. Think of the student loans you probably took to pay for your highly-specialized profession.

What if the unexpected happens (like illness or injury), and you’re no longer able to perform your duty as an orthopedic surgeon? What happens to the anticipated income and all the years you’ve worked so hard for?

Having a comprehensive disability insurance policy is one of the most effective ways to protect your earnings even when the unknown happens.

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Why Do Orthopedic Surgeons Need Disability Insurance?

Despite what studies and statistics have shown, many people do not believe that disability can happen to them.

Look at it from the positive angle—with disability insurance, you have peace of mind that you are financially protected even when you are unable to work.

But there are more reasons you should consider buying a policy. Here are few of them:

Why Do Orthopedic Surgeons Need Disability Insurance
Causes of disability are climbing

Generally, many people think of an accident as the primary cause of disability, but that’s just a part of it. The World Health Organization reveals that depression is the leading cause of disability with over 300 million people worldwide. In U.S., about 7.4% of adults, have one form of depression.

Depression is not the only illness that causes disability. Other common conditions–heart disease, respiratory or lung problems, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, pregnancy complications, and nervous system disorders–are strongly associated with disability causes.

Realistically, these common illnesses are on the rise in our society and don’t discriminate based on your profession.

The odds of becoming disabled are increasing

As the causes of disability climb, so too do your chances of becoming disabled. According to statistics, you have a 43% chance to be disabled for six months if you are a man, and 54% chance if you are a woman. Aside from that, the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA) says that one out of every four 20-year-old professionals will become disabled before retirement.

You save more if you buy early

Buying as soon as you can, especially when you’re young and healthy, is the smartest thing to do. This is because the older you become, the more expensive disability insurance will be. As you age, the likelihood of disability gets higher. So buying at a younger age is usually preferable.

What Kind of Policies are Available to Orthopedic Surgeons?

There are two major types of disability coverage: Short-Term Disability Insurance (STDI) and Long-Term Disability Insurance (LTDI). The major differences between these two policies are in their benefit period, elimination period, and coverage amount. For instance, the benefit period for STDI is between 3 to 6 months, while LTDI is between 1 to 10 years or until you retire.

We will recommend that, as an orthopedic surgeon, you buy an “own-occupation” policy with long-term in view, as this offers you greater benefits. For instance, the premium rates do not change, and it does not offset for other sources of income. Short-term or group policies cannot provide this.

Long-term disability insurance benefits also do not trigger taxable events. This means you can expect a full paycheck. And most importantly, you get covered for longer period till your retirement.

What Kind of Policies are Available to Orthopedic Surgeons

What Should Orthopedic Surgeons Look for When Buying Disability Insurance?

Although the disability insurance market has changed over the years, basic principles still apply when shopping for individual coverage. Providers will serve you a primer to help you find the policy or policies to best suit your individual needs in today’s marketplace. You should also take the following into consideration when choosing a provider:

The strength of the company

Since your profession makes you one of the top earners, you need to consider the financial power of the insurance company. The strength of an insurance company plays a crucial role as you will want a company that will be capable of paying benefits if the time comes to redeem them.

Buy from a carrier that understands the medical profession

When shopping, look out for a reputable company that understands the market for medical professionals. A carrier with knowledge of the medical profession is more likely to develop a strong disability policy with robust protections written into the plan that are tailored to your needs as an orthopedic surgeon.

Own your own policy

An company may provide group disability insurance for its employees. While this sounds good, such coverage is not developed to appeal to you as the insured. Rather, it appeals more to the employer. An employer will typically buy a policy with lower rates. But when you buy a personalized policy, you can choose a policy that appeals to you the most.

Pay a bit more premium

Granted, a good policy costs more. Payment for level premium policies stays the same as long as you own the policy. Graded premiums, on the other hand, begin low but increase over time for as long as the policy remains valid. For those with a tight budget, you can start with a graded policy and can upgrade to level premiums as your income appreciates. Level premiums offer the best benefits because, as you grow older, it becomes more difficult to secure lower rates.

How Gold Coast Life Insurance Can Help

Buying disability insurance as an orthopedic surgeon might not be the first thing on your mind, but if done right, you stand to reap the benefits in the long run. At Gold Coast Life Insurance, we know the importance of disability insurance for physicians including orthopedic surgeons. We stand ready to relieve you of the stress of getting the right disability insurance policy. Take advantage of our free quote to get started today.

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