4 minute read
4 minute read
Are you a new attending physician? If so, you probably heard about disability insurance during training. But did you know that disability insurance is especially important for you if you’re early in your attending career?
That’s because right now your most valuable assets are your education and your ability to earn a future income, which reflect all of the time, educational costs, and postponed income due to all the years you spent training to become a physician.
Anything from a back injury, vision loss, or a hand injury will threaten those future assets.
Even if you don’t live a high-risk life and are healthy, a car accident or major illness could limit your ability to work. And though your individual chance of a catastrophic illness or injury could be low, the potential cost is very high.
Plus, if you’ve got student loan debt, don’t forget that those loans aren’t discharged even if you declare bankruptcy due to the effects of a long-term illness or injury.
The only reason not to have long-term disability insurance is if you’re already financially independent and can use savings during a long period of recovery from illness or injury.
If you aren’t financially independent yet and don’t have a true own-occupation disability insurance policy already, you might figure that you’re covered by your group policy.
But be warned! Group policies are what’s known as “any occupation,” which means that, if you’re ill or injured and can no longer work as a physician, you’re considered disabled only if you can’t work at all!
So if you can no longer work as a surgeon but find a position as a lecturer, you would lose those group disability insurance benefits.
In addition, group disability benefits won’t replace all your income and it’s considered taxable income if your employer is paying the premium.
True own-occupation disability insurance policies pay your benefits if you aren’t able to work in your specialty. So if you’re that surgeon who found a position as a lecturer after an injury, you would be able to keep receiving your disability insurance benefits along with your new income.
So if you’re a new attending physician you’ve decided to get true own-occupation disability insurance to safeguard your future income, you should do it soon.
Insurance companies offer discounted pricing to residents and fellows, and to new attending physicians for a limited time after they graduate from training.
These discounts could save you thousands of dollars over the course of your career, especially if you’re a woman.
Women can get up to a 45 percent discount off of the premium, and men can see up to a 20 percent discount.
So a woman’s policy could go from $300 to $165 per month. That would save her $1,620 over the course of a year, and $48,600 over the course of a 30-year career!
A man’s policy would go from $205 to $165, which would save him $480 over a year and $14,400 over a 30-year career.
Since you’ve insured your car and your home, why wouldn’t you insure your career? After all, your future potential earnings are worth far more than your car or your home.