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Portable Disability Insurance for Physicians : Yes, You Can Take It with You

Portable Disability

You’ve heard the saying, “You can’t take it with you.” It might aptly refer to employer-provided disability insurance.

Having adequate disability protection has always been a top concern for physicians. While employer-provided disability coverage can play a substantial part in your financial preparedness planning, relying on it as your only disability protection is risky. And here’s why:

When you move on, whether to another residency or fellowship or to becoming an attending physician, you are likely to find that your employer-provided disability coverage ends.. However, you can protect yourself and your livelihood, with an individual or association group disability policy. Your ability to earn an income, after all, is your greatest asset and should be protected.

While your earnings today might be relatively modest, your earning potential is significant.  Disability insurance is a solid, economical way to protect that potential.

Supplemental Disability Insurance Makes Sense

Let’s look at some compelling reasons you should consider supplementing your employer-provided long-term disability insurance now.

  1. You can keep your individual or association group disability income insurance policy even if you change teaching hospitals, advance to a fellowship, or go into practice.
  2. When you pay the premium for disability income insurance with after-tax dollars, your monthly disability income benefits are generally not taxable. That’s not true of some employer-provided disability benefits. Consult your tax advisor.
  3. You can choose a monthly benefit amount to help meet your family’s financial needs. Employer-provided insurance may not provide the necessary level of benefits to meet your particular financial needs.
  4. Your career and financial responsibilities will change throughout your career. Upgrading your disability income protection as your income changes is key to a sound income protection strategy.
  5. You should choose coverage that provides specialty specific protection with an “Own-Occupation” Definition of Disability.

Begin by Assessing Your Needs

First, ask yourself, “How much do I need every month to help cover my family’s current expenses?”  This requires a close look at your current situation.

Then, compare the number you arrive at with the potential benefits of any employer-provided insurance along with any other income stream you may have. You may find that the benefits of the insurance you already have would leave you with a shortfall. Typical employer-provided policies pay benefits based on base salary, not bonuses. Further, those benefits may be taxable. It’s a good idea to have your tax advisor review your disability coverage.

Now, Look for the Right Solution

The right disability coverage should help give you peace of mind knowing that you and your family can help protect your income if an illness or accident sidelines you for months or years.

You should be able to carry your disability income insurance with you as you progress professionally. Additionally, it should be insurance tailored to fit the special needs you have as a physician.

No Time Like the Present

No one can predict when a disabling injury or illness might occur, so It’s important that physicians consider maintaining the right amount of disability insurance. Buying when you are young and just starting out makes sense. You shoulder significant risk—limited income and debt—and a disability of any magnitude could quickly result in financial hardship. Also, if you’re seeking the best possible rates, be aware that all insurance rates are based on risk, and the best rates go to the youngest and most likely healthiest people. That means the best time to provide yourself with adequate and portable disability coverage is now.

Get Help from Someone Who Understands Your Unique Needs

Look for a specialist in insurance for physicians—a professional who will help you analyze your needs, take into account the insurance you already have, and provide you with workable, affordable options—including disability insurance that will help protect you and your family financially throughout your professional life.

AMA Insurance is a valuable resource when you’re looking for financial protection for yourself and your family. Its specialists are salaried professionals who offer physician tailored insurance solutions backed by top-rated insurance companies. Call 888.627.5902 to get acquainted with them–you’ll be glad you did.