Long Term Disability Explanation
As an employed physician, you are likely participating in the Group Long Term Disability plan. I am writing this letter to make you aware of the significant limitations inside your plan which may leave you exposed if you were to suffer a disability.
I was recently introduced to InsuranceMD through a colleague of ours who was adamant I speak with them about Long Term Disability Insurance. The agent I spoke with tried to educate me on the importance of having Own Specialty Disability Insurance, but i was convinced I had adequate disability coverage as an employed physician. He then took the time to actually provide me with a complete review of my Employer Long Term Disability benefit and what I learned shocked me and that is why i’m taking this opportunity to share what I learned with you:
- Only Protects our Base IncomeOur Employer plan only provides us with coverage based on a percentage of our “base” income and does not include bonuses or incentive income. Most group plans are capped at a benefit of $5,000, $10,000, or $15,000 per month and the benefits are taxable.
- Our coverage is “NOT” True OccupationOur coverage is only paid to us in full if we are disabled in our specialty provided we are not working in any other occupation for wage or profit.
- Social Security payments can count against usIf we become disabled and we are working in another occupation, our benefits will be reduced. If we are disabled and we are receiving Social Security Benefits, the benefit can also be reduced.
- Work related injuries may not be coveredMost group policies contain a workers compensation clause that states if our disability is caused by a work related injury or sickness, that our benefits may not be payable under this policy if we are eligible for workers compensation.
- Only 24 months of coverage for mental healthIf a disability results from a Mental Health Condition, the maximum number of months we may be eligible to receive benefits for is 24 months.
- Most Employer coverage is “not” portableIf we leave our Employer, our plans stays behind. This means if we try to obtain coverage privately or through another employer, we may not be eligible based on any pre-existing medical conditions.
Our Employer Disability is Not Own Specialty Coverage
As you can see from above, group coverage is not adequate. I’ve been taught that as a physician, I need Own Specialty Disability Insurance. Group coverage refuses to pay us our full benefit if we elect to work in any other occupation. As physicians, we need a plan that will protect us from a sickness or injury that may disable us from working in our specialty without reducing our benefits if we elect to continue our careers in a different occupation. Our policy should also protect our full income, not just the income we earn as a base salary. Because of these limitations I opted to purchase a supplemental individual Own Specialty policy.
Below is an example of employer sponsored Long Term Disability
As physicians we need “True” Own Specialty Protection.
We should have coverage that provides us with “Tax-Free” income should “any” sickness or injury prevent us from working in our medical speciality. That benefit should allow us to earn income in another occupation without reducing our benefits.
Our disability plan should provide us income protection for both our base and bonus income. Since our health can change as we get older, it’s imperative that our coverage is guaranteed. This means if we ever leave, our coverage should come with us until we decide we no longer need the protection. Although this Individual Own Specialty coverage comes at a price, the cost of not having it far exceeds what we will pay.
Please take a moment to fill out the form below to speak with the agent who has helped me obtain “True” Specialty Coverage.
Dr. Emily S