Broker Check

Physicians, Discover The Right Disability Insurance Coverage

We Make a Complicated and Frustrating Process Easy For You

Step 1: Watch our video

This short 10 minute presentation will help to address some of the common questions many young physicians have regarding disability coverage.   

Step 2: Schedule a phone call

Our 15 minute phone call gives you the chance to connect with us.  We will address your questions and see if we can help you.

Step 3: You decide

We have helped hundreds of physicians with disability coverage and are prepared to take the time necessary to help you secure your coverage.  It will be your decision if and when to proceed. 

Commonly Asked Questions

Which Company is Best for Physicians:

  • The company that’s best for you, as a physician will depend on several factors. Your age, specialty, state, health, medical history, and many other factors come into play. 
  • While the top individual disability contracts have many similarities, each contract contains slightly different terms and options. The best option is not always the least expensive, most expensive or the option with the largest discount. 
  • Once we get an understanding of your situation, we can help educate you on the top options available to make the decision easier.

Group vs Association vs Individual:

  • Comparing all 3 if you're healthy and get approved for individual coverage; that’s the way to go. You will be able to secure the best terms and provisions, and if done properly, the contract will have the highest certainty of providing the right benefits if you had a claim.
  • The limitations of employer provided disability coverage vary; however most common limitations would be in areas such as; monthly benefit is tied to base earnings only, benefit caps could be much lower than actual income, benefits during a claim can be taxed as income, your employer or insurance carrier can cancel the plan, terms could be subject to change, coverage might not be portable if you leave, and the benefit might not adequately replace your income.
  • While many people think they are adequately covered b/c they participate in a group plan, it’s important to recognize that there might be a gap in coverage that needs to be addressed. The gap can be filled in with individual coverage.
  • Policies endorsed by associations often are not on par with individual contracts either. The definitions and terms available are typically less attractive.  Depending on the situation, rates could be subject to change and quite often the payments could increase over time.

Taking Advantage of Discounts:

  • If you’re part of a residency program, fellowship program, or employee at a large hospital, chances are you could be eligible for a discount. Some carriers best discount programs are only available while you’re in residency or fellowship.  With some other carriers, discounts as an attending can be just as good and sometimes even better.  Your age factors into cost, so it’s better to buy at a younger age and lock in your health than wait to purchase. 
  • Some carriers offer unisex discounts, although it’s becoming less and less common. The unisex rates tend to be more substantial for females. 
  • It’s important to understand carriers offer discounts as an incentive to sign up with the goal of enrolling many physicians from the same employer. The carrier with the biggest discount, or the carrier your colleagues have might not be the best for you.  There are multiple factors more important than the rate, but certainly take advantages of discounts when you can.

Key Terms & Benefits

These are not actual definitions found in contracts.  The language in contracts will vary.

Own Occupation 

The policy can pay the full monthly benefit if due to injury or illness, you cannot work in your primary occupation.  You can still collect the full monthly benefit if you earn income from another occupation, regardless of the level of earnings, as the benefit is not reduced or offset due to other income.  Some carriers will offer more detailed language for medical specialties and some carriers offer multiple options for total disability definition. 

Residual or Partial Benefits 

Many claims are not totally disabling.  A residual or partial rider can start paying you benefits if you’re still working in your specialty, but if due to injury or illness, you experience a loss of income.  Generally, these benefits require a loss of income of at least 15% or 20% before you're eligible to receive benefits.  Based on carrier, other qualifications may apply.  These benefits allow you to protect your income and not get penalized if you want to or can still do some but not 100% of your job.  This is a provision that can vary a lot from carrier to carrier.   

Non Cancellable/Guaranteed Renewable 

This terminology means the insurance company cannot change your policy's benefits, add new exclusions, or increase your rates.  As the policy owner, you’re not required to keep coverage or make your payments, but if you make your proper payments on time, the insurance company cannot modify your coverage, make you reapply, or change the rates, or drop you. 

Ability to Increase Coverage 

These can be called terms such as, future purchase option, future increase option, benefit update rider, or benefit purchase rider.  The benefit allows for you to increase your coverage in the future without going through medical underwriting.  Therefore, if you locked in a policy and then wanted to increase your monthly benefit as your earnings grew, you can do it even if your health changes.  Any health conditions that began after your policy will not be excluded or held against you unless stated otherwise.  

Benefit Period 

The maximum duration the insurance carrier would pay benefits.  Generally, most individual contracts offer the following options, 2year, 5 years, 10 years, age 65, age 67, age 70. Depending on carriers, there may also be provisions that help pay benefits beyond age 70.  The longer the benefit period, the higher your premium.

Elimination Period 

The duration of time you need to be out of work or with a loss of income to become eligible for benefits.  Generally, most individual contracts offer, 30 day, 60 day, 90 day, 180 day and 365 day elimination periods.  The longer the elimination period, the lower your premium. 

Mental/Nervous Limitations 

Depending on your occupation and the definitions desired, carriers may require a 24-month mental/nervous limitation.  This means claims that results from events such as, depression, drugs, alcohol, anxiety, burnout or mental illness could only be covered for up to 24 months regardless of your benefit period. 

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) 

COLA is a benefit that can increase your monthly payout during a claim.  While there are multiple options, the goal is to increase your payment on an annual basis to protect you against inflation.  This option can substantially increase the amount of benefits you receive during a claim, especially if you’re in the early stages of your career. 

Catastrophic Rider 

This is an option that, if selected, could offer you an additional payment for a more severe claim.  The terms vary but this benefit is designed to pay more since a severe claim can be a more expensive claim and have a larger financial impact on the household. 

Retirement Protection 

Is a disability insurance program designed to replace retirement contributions during a period of disability. While eligible for benefits, a monthly benefit insuring up to 100% of retirement contributions, including any employer-matching contributions, will be paid into a trust established by you. Most people don’t realize that if they get disabled, their expenses could be higher, and they might not be able to take advantage of funding certain retirement accounts.

Student Loan or Supplemental Rider

While out on claim, the insurance carrier can pay you additional funds to help you pay student loan debt.