How Much Disability Insurance do i qualify for?

Physicians always ask how much disability insurance they should have.  In most professions you are allowed to have a total of 60% of your adjusted gross income protected with individual disability insurance.  Attached to this post is a chart of the amount of individual coverage a physicians is eligible for based on his/her income.  These amounts would differ if you also carry a group long term disability policy.  Employer paid Group coverage will limit your eligibility but its not a dollar for dollar reduction since employer paid benefits are taxable.

Contact us for a free benefit eligibility evaluation today at 888-400-0262 or email us at info@doctordisabilityshop.com

 

How Much Disability Insurance do i qualify for?

Physicians always ask how much disability insurance they should have.  In most professions you are allowed to have a total of 60% of your adjusted gross income protected with individual disability insurance.  Attached to this post is a chart of the amount of individual coverage a physicians is eligible for based on his/her income.  These amounts would differ if you also carry a group long term disability policy.  Employer paid Group coverage will limit your eligibility but its not a dollar for dollar reduction since employer paid benefits are taxable.

Contact us for a free benefit eligibility evaluation today at 888-400-0262 or email us at info@doctordisabilityshop.com

 

The post How Much Disability Insurance do i qualify for? appeared first on Doctor Disability Shop.

Disability Insurance For Doctors

As a physician, your most valuable asset is your continued ability to perform the every day duties of your medical specialty allowing you to continue to work and earn an income.

4 years of school for an undergraduate degree, 4 years of Medical School and 3 to 7 years of residency/training… There is no other profession that requires as much schooling and training before one becomes eligible to work in their career. On average a physician isn’t eligible for a medical license until the ages of 28 – 33 years old. You need to protect your investment and purchase “own occupation/own specialty” disability insurance as soon as possible designed specifically for physicians.

Own occupation/Own Specialty means full coverage for any sickness or injury that prevents you from performing the material and substantial duties of your specialty and does not include a restriction on working in another occupation.

For example: Guardian’s definition for total disability is written as:

Total Disability or Totally Disabled means that, solely due to injury or sickness, you are not able to perform the material and substantial duties of your occupation.  You will be totally disabled even if you are gainfully employed in another occupation.

Currently only 6 disability carriers write policies containing this important definition: Guardian • Ameritas • Principal • The Standard • Ohio National • Mass Mutual.

Despite what you may have be told by your company or your agent, NO other companies or group policy currently writes this type of policy. The AMA, ACOG, ACP, AAFP, AAP, North Western Mutual, New York Life, UNUM, Sellers DI; offer a definition that reads like this:

The insured is totally disabled when both unable to perform the principal duties of the regular occupation and NOT GAINFULLY EMPLOYED IN ANY OCCUPATION.

This means that you cannot earn any other type of income and continue to collect your benefit.

If you are a doctor – and you want own specialty/own occupation disability insurance – you need to stick with Guardian, Ameritas, Principal, The Standard, Ohio National or Mass Mutual.

Protecting your most valuable asset isn’t cheap but some carriers offer discounts based on hospital affiliation or work location.  Be sure to inquire about ways to qualify for discounts as these discounts have been none to save physicians thousands over the coarse of their careers.

The post Disability Insurance For Doctors appeared first on Doctor Disability Shop.

Special Discount Available for Doctors of Florida Hospital

Florida Hospital Physician are now eligible to save 50% on premiums for individual long term specialty specific disability insurance.

The post Special Discount Available for Doctors of Florida Hospital appeared first on Doctor Disability Shop.

Northwestern Mutual Does NOT offer True Own Specialty Disability Insurance

Despite what your North Western Mutual Agent tells you – North Western Mutual Does not and has not offered a true own specialty policy in almost 2 decades.

Their medical occupation definition of disability contains the following language:

“The Insured is totally disabled when both unable to perform the principal duties of the regular occupation and not gainfully employed in any occupation.

This is not an own occupation/own specialty definition of total disability.  Why?  Because their policy limits total disability if you are gainfully employed in any occupation.  So why does North Western Mutual say it is?  Because North Western Mutual pushes their products on Doctors because they love Doctors as clients and they want you to buy all your financial products from them.  This is why they went as far as to name their totally disabled definition as the  “medical occupation definition of disability” but that’s just to lure you in when really it’s a definition that limits your benefit if you are working in any gainful occupation.

The fact is that if you are a doctor you must have Own Specialty/Own Occupation disability insurance.  And unfortunately you can’t get that from North Western Mutual but despite what you might hear out there you can still get it.  Guardian – Ameritas – Principal – The Standard – Ohio National – and Mass Mutual still offer it.  But you have to make sure your agent is quoting it, because a few of these carriers offer both the Own Occupation/Own Specialty/Regular Occupation riders as well as a Transitional Occupation/Not Engaged benefit.

Here’s an example from the Guardian company on how your definition of Totally Disabled should read in order to be considered a real Own Specialty plan:

The Insured is totally disabled “You are not able to perform the material and substantial duties of Your Occupation.”  “You will be Totally Disabled even if You are Gainfully Employed in another occupation.” 

You should clearly notice the difference between the Guardian definition and the North Western Mutual and as if that wasn’t enough information to make you consider another carrier here’s another.  North Western Mutuals rates are more expensive, you will save money for much better coverage by considering a policy from Guardian – Ameritas – Principal – The Standard – Mass Mutual- and Ohio National.

 

The AMA Disability Insurance plan is NOT True Own Specialty Disability Insurance

We’ve been working with physicians for more than a decade and we’ve researched and studied every sort of disability insurance policy available to physicians.  We’ve learned something about doctors and their understanding of disability insurance that is getting them in trouble with the policy they end up purchasing.  And we wanted to take a few moments to write about it in an effort to help get the word out so that we can limit the amount of physicians who end up using their disability policies only to learn then that it doesn’t protect them the way they thought it would.

Every Physician is aware that they are supposed to purchase “Own occupation” also known as “Own Specialty” disability insurance.  The understanding is that if you purchase a policy that an insurance provider is calling “own occupation” or “own specialty” you are getting a plan that will pay you if you suffer a disability that limits your ability to work in your specialty and will continue to pay you your FULL benefit amount should you do something else.  While its true that these policies exist, what you didn’t know is that in the insurance industry “own occupation” or “own specialty” can mean up to three different things and the AMA, ACOG, ACP, ACS, AAP, etc. all know that you do not know that.

Here’s why they get away with it.  Technically speaking, Own Occupation coverage means that so long as the insurance carrier recognizes your specialty as your occupation and they do not force you to go an work in another occupation then it’s OK if they advertise their product as being Occupation or specialty specific.  What you didn’t realize was that this does NOT mean you can go to work in another occupation and still be entitled to your full benefit or any benefit at all.  It simply means they won’t force you to go to work in another occupation but they will not pay you your full benefit amount if you are earning more than 15% of your prior earned income in another occupation.

Let’s take a look at an advertisement piece from the AMA.  Right from the AMA website (https:/lwww.amainsure.com/coverage-details/disabilitypro-insurance.html) “own occupation” Disability Definition:

Unlike some other disability plans, this plan contains a preferred definition of disability.  If you are unable to perform the duties of “your own medical specialty,” benefits CAN be payable for up to the age of 65.

Frankly reading that its no wonder why so many physicians end up with the AMA plan.  But here’s what your policy will say if you buy it through them:

Totally Disabled or Total Disability means: – Your COMPLETE inability to perform the substantial and material duties of your Current Occupation, AND you ARE NOT ENGAGED IN ANY OTHER OCCUPATION.

That definitely doesn’t sound like the “Own Occupation/Own Specialty” coverage you’ve heard about and it definitely doesn’t sound like what the AMA advertises to you on their website.

Don’t end up making the same mistakes that thousands of other physicians make simply because they are misinformed.  As of today True “own occupation/Own specialty” disability insurance can only be purchased individually and it can only be purchased through the following insurance carriers:  Guardian, Ameritas, Principal, The Standard, Ohio National, and Mass Mutual.

Just for comparison purposes, here is the same definition of total disability from the Guardian carrier to compare to the definition from the AMA:

Total Disability or Totally Disabled: means that, solely due to injury or sickness, you are not able to perform the material and substantial duties of Your Occupation.  You will be Totally Disabled even if you are Gainfully Employed in another occupation.  

Its a big difference and we want to see doctors stop getting the wrong plan simply because of how cheap and easy it is to obtain coverage through the AMA.  Call us at 888-400-0262 for more information.

2 Great Disability Insurance Riders

2 Great Disability Insurance Riders

As a doctor, you don’t like to think about the possibility that you could ever be disabled, or even lose the ability to work in your chosen specialty. But to work as a doctor is to see this happen every day in the lives of other people. If an accident or illness were to happen to you, would your disability insurance protect you and your family? Which disability insurance riders are best for you?

Disability insurance riders can modify your existing policy to increase or decrease your premiums and benefits. For instance, including a rider called the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Rider. COLA increases your disability benefit annually once disabled to help keep up with rising inflation. You have two Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) options to choose from: compounded or simple interest. Policies with this rider help prevent inflation from taking a bite out of your disability income.

Another great rider is the Future Increase Option (FIO). It guarantees your future medical insurability as your income increases. It is also available if you lose employer-provided group disability. With some carriers FIO guarantees rate structure, occupational class, and policy definitions of your original contract. Rates are based on attained age.

Disability insurance for doctors can be confusing. It’s sometimes tough to decipher exactly what’s covered in a policy, and what isn’t. Some doctors discover too late that the disability policy they had been relying on didn’t offer the protections they imagined. Don’t be one of them! We can help you find a true “own specialty” disability policy that protects your income and your freedom of choice. Why let a restrictive disability policy dictate whether or not you can work — especially when there are much better options available? Let us show you what true “own specialty” disability policies and available riders are available for you. We think you’ll agree that true “own specialty” disability insurance is the way to go.

Are There Recovery Benefits with Disability Insurance?

Financial Advice for Doctors

Disability Insurance is an important way to protect yourself and your family from going into an economic crisis in the event that you become disabled or ill. These insurance programs pay out a cash benefit while you are unable to work. However, if you are concerned about your ability to get back on your feet after you return to work, you may be interested in looking at a recovery benefit rider with your disability insurance. This will allow you to continue collecting a cash benefit while progressing through your recovery, even after you have returned to work. Whether you’re a pediatrician, dentist, or a plastic surgeon, disability insurance including recovery benefits is a great option to consider.

What Are Recovery Benefits?

It’s important to realize that it can take some time to rebuild your earnings after you’ve returned to work full-time following an accident, illness, or injury. That’s why it’s good to look for recovery options that will continue to pay your partial monthly benefit amount while you rebuild your income and your ability to work.

Recovery benefits are considered a residual disability benefit that is paid following a period of total disability. The employee will have returned to work on a full-time basis, but they may still be experiencing a loss of income as a direct result of the illness or debilitating injury. It is important to fully understand the benefit period that is available for recovery benefits, as having the least restrictive benefit will be essential in ensuring that your income is adequately protected.

If you are self-employed, consider the impact of closing your business for several months while you recover from an accident or illness. Even after you reopen your business on a full-time basis, your profitability is likely to have been reduced greatly. This loss of income after your period of total disability can continue on for months or years, and it may never return to the level that you experienced before your disability.

What is the Difference Between Total and Partial Disability?

Another important distinction to consider with recovery benefits is the difference between total and partial disability. Total disability refers to the inability to perform at least one of the material and substantial duties of your specialty, while partial, or residual, disability means that you are only able to work in a reduced capacity but still able to perform all the material and substantial duties of your specialty. This can lead to working partial days and only bringing in partial earnings.

Investing in disability insurance with residual benefits is a great way to protect yourself and your family.  If you are interested in discussing these options and how they might be able to benefit you, contact your physician insurance agency today.

Financial Advice for Doctors

Are There Recovery Benefits with Disability Insurance?

Preparation is key in the life of a medical professional. Doctors spend their college years preparing for exams, their years in residency preparing for patients, and by the time they arrive at their working years, it’s time to start preparing for retirement. Some doctors experience financial turmoil as young adults, accumulating loans and bills as they make their way through medical school. When they finally achieve their goals and the money starts flowing in, it’s easy to see why they wouldn’t want to immediately shift the focus from their present to their future, but this has the potential to be a costly mistake.

Many doctors don’t enter their respective fields until their early to mid-thirties. That means working professionals who didn’t receive a graduate education have been saving for retirement for 5 to 10 years before doctors even get the chance to start. So, when they do begin to think about retirement, the best financial advice for doctors is this: seek professional counseling.

Medical professionals can begin to build savings plans on their own, but should definitely consult with a professional about long-term savings and retirement plans. The future is unknown, and a professional can assist with creating savings plans in the case of injury or long-term disability, as well as building a retirement savings plan that will guarantee that doctors can continue to live the lifestyle they’ve become accustom to.

The last thing you want is to work for 8 to 12 years on your education and training, only to find yourself disabled and out of money and options several years later. No matter what your specialty or your training level, whether you’re a dermatologist, a dentist or a surgeon, there is disability insurance out there for you. Own specialty disability insurance for surgeons, ER doctors, and all other types of physicians, ensures that you get paid for not being able to practice the specialty you trained for in school. A professional will council you on exactly the disability insurance you should invest in, as well as provide some important tips for reaching your long-term retirement goals.

One of the benefits to being a doctor is the living that comes with it. Improper financial planning could result in a retirement fund that runs dry long before it is supposed to. A financial professional or insurance expert will know exactly how much money you will need to invest in potential emergencies, and how much you should invest in your future so that you can adequately plan ahead. Your golden years after working as a doctor are well-earned. Few can appreciate the relaxation of retirement as well as a physician who spent the greater part of his or her life working long hours on challenging cases. Make sure your golden years don’t turn sour, start saving for retirement and have disability insurance in case of emergencies.

What Every Physician Should Know About Disability Insurance

What Every Physician Should Know About Disability Insurance

Traditionally, physicians are a financially conservative group. They ensure that life and health insurance are securely in place, manage investments wisely and plan for a golden retirement. However, more often than not, they may unwittingly put themselves in harm’s way by overlooking or under-planning for the ramifications of a disabling illness or injury.

What if you could no longer perform surgery? What if your eyesight started to fade or you were confined to a wheelchair? Statistics show that 1 out of every 3 people will be disabled for 90 days or longer and one year of disability could wipe out 10 years of savings. Disability doesn’t just happen to “Other” people. A disability is simply defined as a sickness or injury that interferes with your ability to work.

Purchasing good individual disability coverage is important in protecting your most valuable asset, your ability to practice medicine and earn an income. You want to have contracts that can never be changed or premiums that can never be increased. The definition of a good contract will read; if you can not perform the material and substantial duties of your specialty, benefits will be paid. With good disability insurance contracts if you couldn’t perform your specialty because of an injury or sickness and you engaged in any another occupation you would still receive your monthly benefit. Even if you were making a higher income in your new occupation, you would still receive your monthly disability benefit. Most good disability contracts will have extra policy riders you can purchase. Riders that would allow you to increase your coverage later in life regardless of your health. A residual rider that would pay benefits in the most realistic claim scenario of being partially disabled but still working in your own occupation. A cost of living rider ensures that if you were to go on claim your benefit would increase every year to keep pace with inflation.

Don’t rely on Social Security, group coverage or your professional association’s coverage. Many group policies are structured with loopholes and nit picking provisions. To qualify for Social Security, you must be completely disabled with no hope of recovery for a period of at least one year, or have a disability expected to end in death. You must also be unable to do any kind of work, not just your job. The majority of people who apply for Social Security disability are denied. Group coverage and professional association coverages may protect your “Own Occupation or Specialty” but only for 2 or 5 years. After 2 or 5 years your policy definition will switch to any occupation based on your education, training and experience. If the insurance company feels you can do some sort of reasonable occupation based on education, training or experience, benefits will cease. Other group and association coverage’s read that if you can not perform the material and substantial duties of your regular occupation and you are not engaged or performing any occupation for wage, remuneration or profit benefits will be paid. Insurance companies know from claims statistics that most claims involve partial disability where individuals are still working in their own occupation or in another occupation. In both group contracts and association contracts your benefits would be limited. Premiums also generally increase every 5 years with association coverage.

Most individual disability contracts in New Jersey can be purchased at discounted rates of 15%-50%. This could mean thousands of dollars in savings over the course of your career. In one example we were able to save a physician over $220,000 in premiums over her career.

It is very important that you work with a professional who works primarily with physicians and disability insurance. Someone who can show you comparisons of all the insurance companies that write disability insurance for physicians.