Disability Insurance for Physicians
Disability insurance for physicians is extremely useful. It protects a physician’s income source when they are not able to perform their duties due to serious medical issues.
The reasons could be a severe illness or serious injury.
These are long-term and short-term insurance policies. These policies often contain an own-occupation clause aimed to specifically cover medical care and healthcare providers.
Apart from physicians, this disability insurance can be bought by dentists, veterinarians, podiatrists, pediatricians, etc. Most injuries occur when you are off-duty.
This means that you may not be able to receive worker’s compensation in such cases. To remedy this, disability insurance for physicians is a perfect choice.
How is Disability defined?
Simply being hurt or feeling sick is not called being disabled. Most insurers consider a person disabled when they are unable to perform their professional roles.
Still, there are insurers who don’t consider an injury or illness as a disability when the health worker can work in the medicinal field.
Hence, you need to check for three things before buying disability insurance for physicians:
- Any-Occupation policy – Any-occupation policy is the strictest disability policy. It comes with a low premium charge and offers minimal coverage. This insurance policy is mainly designed for serious disabilities. For instance, if you get severely injured and cannot perform your clinical duties, but can work as a medical consultant. Then you will not be considered disabled under the any-occupation policy.
- Own-Occupation policy – This is the opposite of any-occupation policy. Under this insurance policy, you are protected to work in your chosen profession. In case a disability prevents or restricts you from performing your duties, then you are liable for insurance benefits. Even if you are able to work in the same field but in a different position. Then you will receive benefits under this insurance policy.
- Transitional Own-Occupation policy – It decides your benefits, according to the difference between your insurance benefit amount and potential post-disability income. In simple words, this policy offers to cover the loss of income after disability.
Why do you need Disability Insurance for Physicians?
According to reports, around 30% of American employees tend to suffer a disabling incident in their careers which would prevent them from being employed.
As a certified, professional physician you need to ask yourself:
- How will you earn if you cannot work?
- How would you pay the bills after losing your job?
- What would happen to your patients in case you cannot continue your private medical practice?
- How would the loss of income affect your ability to provide for your family?
The answers to these questions will be extremely helpful to you when buying disability insurance for physicians.
Are there different types of Disability Insurance for Physicians?
Yes, there are several different types of disability insurance for physicians to choose from in 2022.
Here are some of the most popular disability insurance policies for doctors in the US:
Group Disability Insurance
Group disability insurance policies cover employees working in a company or organization. Employers usually provide group disability insurance to employees as an additional benefit.
For instance, the AMA and ADA offer group coverage to their members.
These types of disability insurance plans are guaranteed. Under these insurance policies, you can apply for coverage by simply enrolling.
This type of disability insurance does not require any underwriting.
However, there are several loopholes in group disability insurance. The majority of group insurance policies provide only basic coverage.
This type of coverage may not always suffice for physicians who earn a higher income.
Individual Disability Insurance
Individual disability insurance is more vast and specific. It offers several custom features which are absent in group insurance policies.
There are additional policy riders that benefit the policyholder of this type of disability insurance. Most professionals supplement their group coverage with individual disability insurance plans.
With individual disability insurance policies, you are guaranteed coverage even if you lose your job and the subsequent group coverage.
You can buy long-term individual disability insurance within 4 to 6 weeks from applying.
Short-term Disability Insurance
Short-term disability insurance is exactly what it says. It offers to compensate for non-threatening temporary injuries and illnesses.
This disability insurance offers benefits after around 14 days from the incident of disability.
You can expect to be covered under this insurance policy for up to 6 months to 2 years. The insurance is provided regularly throughout this compensation period under short-term disability insurance policies.
Long-term Disability Insurance
These policies offer coverage for serious illness and injuries that restrict or prohibit the policyholder from performing their work.
The injury or illness could affect your working ability for several months or even years.
Under this insurance policy, you can expect to receive the benefits within 30 days of the disabling incident. The benefits under this policy last as much as 5 to 10 years.
In some cases, the policyholder receives benefits till they reach 65 years of age. This type of disability insurance can be bought through a group plan or individually.
What is the cost of Disability Insurance for Physicians?
The exact cost of a disability insurance policy is dependent on several factors, such as:
- Age (Insurance policies tend to get costlier as you age)
- Gender (Women’s policy-seekers have to pay more as compared to men)
- Health status (Any pre-existing conditions can raise the cost of insurance)
- Location (Every state has different rates of insurance premiums)
- Benefit duration (Higher premiums are required for insurance policies with long-term benefits)
- The elimination period (Premium payments become cheaper in case you wait longer to receive benefits)
Disability insurance for physicians has become extremely common today. Tens of thousands of private practitioners and employed physicians are buying disability insurance policies.
Before buying disability insurance for doctors, make sure to read the insurance riders carefully.
Some of these riders can protect you against even partial loss of income. A ‘future increase’ rider benefits you by raising the coverage amount over a fixed period of time.
Hence, make sure to read the offered documents carefully before buying disability insurance for physicians in the US.