DISABILITY & INSURANCE INFO

Could you continue to support your family and pay your bills if you were unable to work for any length of time because of illness or injury? If you were to become disabled, do you know how much money would be coming in each month and from what sources?

Some people hope that group disability coverage provided by their employers, government disability income programs or worker's compensation will cover them. But, for many professionals, a disability that stops their paycheck would leave them - and their families - in financial hardship. Individual disability income insurance is designed to replace a significant portion of income lost when illness or injury prevents the policyholder from earning a living. It is designed to help pay ongoing bills while the policyholder is recuperating and unable to do his or her job.

At MedicalDI.com, disability insurance for physicians, dentists, nurses and other medical professionals is our specialty. Our agents have been working with members of the medical community since 2001 and have a unique understanding of your needs. We will work with you to design a disability plan specifically tailored to your unique situation.

Your medical career is a direct result of hard work and a substantial investment of time and money. Doesn’t it make sense to fully protect it? A disability could render you helpless by taking away the one thing that you need to safeguard all of your assets: your income.

Unfortunately, the chances of becoming disabled might be greater than you think. We're all worried about money, and protecting our families. The problem is we're worried about the wrong things. Most people fear we'll die young and leave our family in financial trouble. But the real danger is that we'll become disabled and unable to work for an extended period of time. We are three (3) times more likely to become disabled and unable to work than we are to die before the age of 65. Here's a fact not many people know. Many more home foreclosures are due to long term disability than the death of the primary income provider. Yet we are far less likely to protect against the far more likely possibility that we'll be disabled for an extended period of time due to injury or illness. Half of the people who declare bankruptcy do so because of health problems or medical bills. Three quarters of these people bankrupted by medical bills actually had health insurance. A February 2000 article in the New York Times reported that 1 in 7 people between the ages of 35 and 60 will become disabled for five years or more. Despite these glaring statistics, many physicians still take a substantial risk by ignoring the benefits of insuring their income.

Guard your assets—don’t leave yourself vulnerable by neglecting to protect your income

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS FOR PHYSICIANS AND DENTISTS

Occupational Specific Benefits

One of the most important policy features to have in a disability insurance contract is an own-occupation definition of disability. Simply stated, this means that if you are unable to work in your specialty due to an injury or illness, the policy will pay you a benefit even if you choose to work in another occupation. For example, if you are injured and can no longer practice as a surgeon (in the event of a dexterity problem), an own-occupation policy will still pay you a benefit even if you can earn an income in another specialty or occupation.
This definition differs greatly from many less expensive or group disability insurance plans, which require that you must not only be disabled from your occupation, but also unable to work in any gainful occupation. Even if you are physically unable to do your job, being able to work in an ice cream shop could prevent you from receiving a benefit.

Occupational Classification

Insurance companies have different rates and policy features for different occupational classes. Your specialty will determine your occupational class. In most cases, specialties with invasive duties will pay slightly more for their policies.

Group Disability Benefits

Many employers offer group insurance. Here are some things to consider:

  • Group plans can be changed or canceled at any time. This could leave you without coverage when you need it most.
  • Most group plans cannot be taken with you if you switch employers.
  • Most group benefits are taxable and do not cover bonuses, which leaves you with a lower net after-tax benefit.
  • Many group physician disability insurance plans have a restrictive definition of disability. These plans require you to be COMPLETELY disabled before they pay a benefit. In other words, if you have the ability to do any type of work, benefits may not be payable.
  • Benefits may be offset by income received by workers comp, social security, and other income sources.
  • Most plans do not keep pace with inflation.
  • Many group plans do not cover a partial disability (which is the most common type of disability).

Business Overhead Expense Disability Policy

If you own your own practice, you may want to consider a business overhead expense policy. If you become disabled, this policy provides funds to help cover ongoing business expenses such as rent and employee salaries (in addition to many other expenses) to keep your practice open during the period of disability. Few medical practices can survive if the doctor is not generating new revenue. In a very short time, the practice will either shut down or have to be sold. A physician disability insurance business overhead expense policy allows you to cover expenses while disabled and return to your existing practice when able.

 

 

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