Medical Resident Disability Insurance
Whether you are a 1st year or final year resident, Disability Insurance will be a critical component for protecting your future income as a practicing medical professional. Most residency programs provide their residents group disability insurance coverage through the duration of their course design. Once, however, the program has been completed and you have left the residency, that coverage typically ends. What options are then available for new physicians to secure and protect their income?
Disability Insurance Options for New Physicians
- Individual Disability Insurance Coverage
- Group Disability Insurance Coverage through your Employer
- Medical Association Disability Insurance Plans
Benefits Every Resident should look for - Individual Disability Insurance
- True Own Occupation Definition of Disability - Disability income insurance policies provide a monthly benefit for total disability. When you read a disability insurance contract, the most important component of the policy should be how it determines you eligible to receive benefits for an illness or injury.
- The policy is BOTH Non-Cancelable and Guaranteed Renewable to at least the age of 65. - The renewability provisions which define your rights in maintaining your disability income protection are extremely important. If a policy is just guaranteed renewable only, it will remain in force as long as your continue to pay for your policy on time, but the insurance company may increase your premiums.
When you purchase a policy that is both non-cancelable and guaranteed renewable to at least the age of 65, the insurance company can not change your premiums or the contract
language. Keep in mind, you can always decide to drop the coverage at anytime and are not required to continue with paying premiums.
• Future Increase Option Rider (aka Future Purchase Option Rider)* - As a resident or fellow, you want to ensure the ability to add more protection in the future when your income increases. This optional rider allows, with financial approval by the insurance carrier, for the policyholder to purchase additional disability insurance coverage without any medical underwriting. This is extremely important for young physicians, residents or fellows who need to protect their ability to get more coverage in the future, even if they suffer a setback in their health along the way.
Reasons to get Disability Insurance as a Medical Resident or Fellow
- Lock in your health and rates now - The best time to obtain disability insurance is when you are healthy. Make sure you don't wait to apply for this coverage until you suffer an injury or illness
- Pre-Approved Limits for Doctors - Most carriers offer residents and fellows guaranteed issue limits without financial documentation. Depending on the carrier there are different limits. There also is an option to have a “graded” premium structure to keep the cost lower until you can afford to level your premium. Make sure to talk to your agent about this option.
The most important reason to lock in your coverage now is to obtain coverage while your health is not an issue. Most of us are in our best health between the ages of 25-35.
By placing your policy in force now, you are making sure you have the best coverage in the future.
Today’s market offers excellent coverage for physicians. By getting a policy now you are guaranteeing yourself the best definitions of disability for physicians available today. Insurance companies can change their policies and may change their definitions.
*Restrictions and limitations apply. While medical information is not required when exercising a future increase option, applications to exercise an increase option will be financially underwritten taking into consideration both the applicant's then current income, as well as all disability insurance which is then in force, or for which the insured has applied or is eligible to receive.