Long Term Disability Explanation
As a physician affiliated with Stanford, you are likely participating in the Group Long Term Disability plan provided through Prudential. I am writing this letter to make you aware of the significant limitations inside our plan which may leave us exposed if you were to suffer a disability.
Like you, I am a physician affiliated with Stanford. 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 of Stanford. He then took the time to actually provide me with a complete review of our Stanford 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:
- Own Specialty Coverage for 1 year onlyThis policy will pay us for 1 year if a disability prevents us from working in our medical specialty. After 1 year, we will only continue to receive benefits if Prudential determines we are unable to
perform the duties of “ANY” reasonable occupation
- Partial Coverage in our specialty for only 1 yearIf we are partially disabled, meaning we are still working in our occupation but a disability is preventing us from earning more than 20% of our pre-disability earnings. Prudential will pay us a partial benefit for only 1 year in our medical specialty. After 1 year, they will only continue to pay us if they determine we are eligible to work in “any” occupation.
- Work related sickness or injury is not coveredIf our sickness or injury occurs as a result of a work related issue, we do not qualify for long-term disability payments under the terms of this contract.
- Up to $25,000 per monthOur policy will pay us 66.67% of our “base salary” up to a cap of $25,000 per month. This benefit amount is taxable and the benefit will be reduced by other sources of income or disability benefits.
- Coverage is not portableIf we ever voluntarily or involuntarily leave Stanford, our policy is cancelled. If we are at a point in our life where we are no longer insurable for a new policy we may be left without coverage if we leave Stanford or if our employment is terminated.
- The employer or carrier can cancelWe have no control of this plan. If Stanford decides to no longer offer the benefit or if Prudential stops offering this plan, we will be left without coverage.
- Coverage stops if we go on LeaveIf we are on a leave of absence, we a e only covered to the end of the month following the month our leave begins.
- Pre-existing conditions may not be coveredYou will not qualify for coverage if within 12 months prior to you coverage effective date you were diagnosed with a c ndition or your took prescribed medication for a diagnosed condition and your disability
begins within 24 months from when your plan became effective.
Our Stanford Disability is Not Own Specialty Coverage
As you can see from above, our Stanford coverage was not adequate for me. I’ve been taught that as a physician I need Own Specialty Disability Insurance. Our Stanford policy refuses to pay us past 12 months if Prudential determines we are eligible to perform the duties of “any reasonable occupation.” I need a policy that will pay me into retirement if a disability prevents me from working in my “specialty.”
Below is a copy of our Stanford plan from Prudential. My InsuranceMD agent highlighted the areas of concern and I’m sharing them with you here.
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 provider should never have the power to make a determination on whether or not they feel we are eligible to work in any reasonable occupation. 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 leave Stanford our coverage comes with us until we decide we no longer need the protection. Although this coverage comes with 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 and others affiliated with Standard in obtaining “True” Own Specialty Coverage.
Dr. Emily S