Securing the Future for Resident Physicians and Fellows
Even if you’re not one of the 18,938 Resident Physicians and Fellows who graduated from medical school in 2016, you might be too busy during your residency to think about disability insurance. But that would be a big mistake, especially since your student loans won’t pay themselves off if you become disabled down the road. As founder of InsureStat, endorsed by and preferred provider of Disability Insurance for Top Hospitals, Mensh and the rest of the InsureSTAT team look forward to helping you protect your future.
“InsureSTAT was instrumental in helping me secure quality disability insurance through their experience in the field and dedication to their customers.”
Dr. John Shields
Department of Orthopedics
Resident Physicians and Student Debt
There are 118,962 active Resident Physicians and Fellows across all specialties in the U.S. as of August, 2016. Each one of you may be studying various medical specialties, but the one thing nearly every resident has in common is the accumulation of massive student debt.
Student loan debt for recent and current Resident Physicians and Fellows average between $180,000 and $190,000 if you count the total amount of loans from your undergraduate and graduate debt combined, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. You may be counting on your earning potential to get those student loans paid down quickly, but it may be a while before your full income comes to fruition. Here are a few quick stats about disability that you should consider:
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Just by the very nature of the occupation, doctors are more susceptible to developing a disability. Back pain, anxiety, depression, not taking care of your own health and high blood pressure, in addition to the stress of the job, are all factors that increase the risk of developing a disability and losing income.
How Much Will This Cost You If You Become Disabled?
Your earning potential as a physician will depend on multiple factors, such as location, specialty, type of facility and patient demand. The median yearly salary for physicians across the board is $196,250. A few of the most populous types of physicians can expect median earnings to be:
• $190,000 for Pediatricians
• $194,00 for Family & General Practitioners
• $207,000+ for Surgeons, Internists and Immunologists
So if you were to become disabled for 82 months (the average amount of time), you could expect to lose $1,341,041 in income while disabled. How will you replace a figure that large?
How Disability Insurance Can Help?
Disability insurance can provide you with monthly income replacement for the duration of your disability. Unlike regular health insurance, disability insurance doesn’t just pay out one payment to your health care provider per medical treatment and leave you to figure out the rest of how you’ll survive until you heal. With disability insurance, you’ll receive a monthly payment that you can use to cover life’s expenses, like groceries, transportation and utility payments.
How Resident Physicians and Fellows Can Benefit
Disability insurance is especially beneficial to residents, fellows and physicians who are just starting out and are still burdened with student loans. Typically, before a Resident Physician or Fellow can buy coverage, they’re required to undergo a review of income and a full medical history, including a blood and urine test. The underwriting of the policy can be very strict for disability insurance due to the length of time the carrier must insure the buyer — usually to age 65 or 67. And rates may differ based on gender, putting female Resident Physicians and Fellows at risk for higher rates.
Top 2 Components to a Young Physicians’
Disability Insurance policy
Own Occupation Protection in the event of a Total Disability is vital to insuring income for any physician. To recap, if a physician is unable to perform the material duties of his/her occupation then we want to make sure that the client is deemed totally disabled, REGARDLESS of any ability to earn other income doing other things. For example, should an orthopedic surgeon not be able to operate due to an accident or illness, a policy that includes Own Occupation/Specialty Own Occupation language will allow for full benefits to be paid to the insured even if they can do office orthopedics and earn income. We certainly recommend that most Doctors, Physician Assistants, Dentists, Nurse Anesthetists etc secure individual disability insurance to protect their trained specialties.
Future Increase Option/Benefit Update is vital to a young physician starting their career as incomes typically rise substantially over the first 5 years in practice or employment after training is complete. In order to best coordinate with rising incomes, it’s important to review disability insurance monthly benefits annually to make sure that the fullest amount available has been secured. Each time a benefit is locked in and placed in force, we can fix and guarantee that cost annually for as long as the insured wishes to keep the policy (typically to age 65/67). It’s advantageous form a cost standpoint to accept increases in benefit at each younger age so as to keep premiums as low as possible. By including the Increase Options that either allow for annual review and increase or required review every 3 years, all carriers make increasing benefits easy by only needing proof of income and current employer provided benefit details to determine new eligible amounts and pricing. There is no medical review necessary for any future increase benefit options. Under most plans, all resident discounts also carry over to newly increased benefits, though not all do so…check with us in advance to make sure!
Using InsureSTAT was an easy way to bring peace of mind for the future.
InsureSTAT made the whole process as painless as it could possibly be. They were always willing to work around my schedule and meet me at the hospital. After relocating for my job, I showed my coverage to my practice’s financial planner; he confirmed it was a great deal, very good coverage for a very good price.
Individual Disability Insurance
Disability Insurance is designed to replace lost income in the event of a disabling condition from illness or an accident. Typically, most insurance companies will allow the insured to protect up to 60% of their pre-disability earned income and pay monthly benefits to age 65, 67, or even 70. InsureSTAT works with you to determine your monthly benefit eligibility, supplement your employer provided protection or increase to become more fully insured from within an older policy already in force.
Danny Mensh is the CEO of InsureSTAT, the leading online provider of Disability Insurance for Physicians, Nurses and Physician Assistants.