27th Mar

2018

The Road To Becoming A Doctor – Attending Physicians

Many physicians over the years may have purchased multiple policies as you may have been presented by insurance agents. You may have an unorganized portfolio of policies with little thought put into how all of them work together. Add into these policies employer coverage and the entire disability portfolio becomes a large mess of vague coverage amounts.

Now that you are an established physician in the prime of their career, it’s time to review all of their policies. Analysis of the language of protection and any exclusions, ratings or contract limitations due to underwriting you may have received at the time of purchase is critical to the performance of their financial protection plan. The disability insurance industry has changed since you have probably last reviewed their coverage and opportunities to improve their existing policies or access additional coverage not previously available may be present.

Tips When Planning As A Attending Physician

  • Coverage Amount – Is the coverage amount adequate to replace their current income and/or maintain their current standard of living? You’re probably bringing home a higher income than when you first bought a policy as a resident or fellow. It is vital to increase their coverage amount any time their income increases substantially or whenever you have a life change that affects the number of dependents you have, such as a marriage or the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Exclusions – What are the specifics of the policy? It is particularly important to review the exclusions and limitations of any employer coverage you may have. These plans are designed for a very broad set of employees, which means the coverage may not fit their specific needs as a physician. If it does not fit their requirements, you can always purchase an individual disability insurance policy on their own to ensure that you have adequate coverage between the two policies. If you have tried to do this in the past, it’s worth revisiting since issue and participation limits (the amounts of insurance available) change over time and you may be able to improve the coverage language and amounts of coverage available. Submitting requests to underwriting for the removal of limitations, modifications or exclusions is an easy and no cost way to increase the value of your protection. Full policies details are necessary to accomplish this strategy.
  • Definition of Disability – Review the definition of total and residual disability in all of their policies because this will determine whether or not you will receive the expected benefits you may have projected for them. Assumptions may lead to denials and unexpected financial hardship. This is especially important for employer policies if you are a speciality physician or surgeon. Many employer policies will not pay out if you are still able to work as a physician, even if the job you are physically capable of doing is not their area of speciality. An example of this is a surgeon who becomes ill or injured to the point where he or she cannot perform surgery. If you are still capable of consulting or working as a physician in another capacity, their disability insurance policy provider may deny their claim. If this happens youmay find themselves making substantially less money than you are used to and you won’t have any insurance payments to bridge the gap.
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