Disability Income Protection Fact Versus Fiction

Whether you are specializing in Anesthesia or Neurosurgery you know that at some point you will need to purchase person disability income insurance.  Hopefully you have already begun the process of protecting your income.  Lets explore some facts versus the fiction that may help you jump that hurdle if its holding you back.

Two of the most common fictions are that it is too expensive and it will never happen to me.  The time is now, it will never be less expensive than it is now while you are young and healthy. Secondly, you are not invincible. According to the January 2017 SSA fact sheet, 1 in 4 people will be disabled before they reach retirement age.  A disability can occur for any number of reasons but in a doctors case it could be something as simple as a needle stick or a slip of the scalpel. Can you afford to loose your income even temporarily?

Most IDI plans have strong core benefits that can assist in protecting your income.   You can add additional riders so that your coverage tailored to match your specialty and budget.  Another common misconception is that your employer provided protection is all you need.  Group coverage is a terrific start to protecting income; however, unless supplemented, it will probably not be enough should you become disabled. A private disability insurance policy can help ensure that your income and ability to live comfortably and continue to pay your bills comfortable are adequately protected.

Some other reasons to consider supplementing group coverage include:

  • Benefit caps for the entire group often leave higher-earning employees with the least amount of disability income protection.
  • It is basic coverage and not individually owned which also means it is not portable should you decide to leave.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to comparing fact versus fiction regarding Individual Disability Insurance Protection.  The bottom line is you have worked too long and too hard to become a specialist in your field of medicine.  Don’t let something like a slip and fall cost you your financial security.

 

The Disability Stats

Dear Resident Doctor
I am writing to explain the importance of investing in your financial future by first securing your own private disability income protection policy. …
That is a wonderful introduction and one you should take seriously if you have received it. You as a specialist in Emergency Medicine already have some idea of the immense value owning a disability protection policy has. I say this because you see the ramifications of accidents and illness daily. You must also see and hear your patients trying to make sense of how to pay for their recovery and maintain their lifestyle if the damage is permanent. You are not immune this can happen to you. Here are some startling statistics
• The chances of you becoming disabled for five or more years is 1 in 8. Most people think it to be quite higher at 1 in 50. Of course we all want to believe we are invincible.
• Almost 30% of all disabilities are back and joint disorders. You spend a great deal of time on your feet. This makes you perfect candidate.
• The rest is made up of health related diseases such as cancer, heart mental and nervous system disorders plus complications due to childbirth.
• People over 50 account for 59% of all disability claims.

Ok that last one doesn’t apply right? Well what you might not know is that the time to buy your personal protection is now. Why because its cheap and will never be cheaper. If you wait until the years of wear and tear standing, bending, running cause your disability to occur without coverage boy is it going to cost you. Now is the time like I said its cheap and your premiums won’t increase unless you choose to increase your coverage amount. If you decide to wait until later it could cost you more than you know.

Its up to you but at least now you are informed and can make and educated decision. Give us a call and we will be happy to help you sort out your options. At Income Protection Specialist, our job to get you the best plan for your profession.

Disability Awareness its May

May is month of celebrations.  There is May day, Cinco de Mayo, of course Mothers Day and Memorial day.  What you may not know is that May is also Disability Insurance Awareness Month. There are so many months with awareness activities but this one is near and dear to our hearts.  Income Protection Specialist wants to make certain that you as a medical professional understand the importance of having this critical financial protection in your portfolio.

It really doesn’t matter what your specialty whether it be Emergency Medicine, Anesthesia, Otolaryngology, Neurosurgery or any of the other important medical practices, you need to make sure you are covered.   As stated by the council for disability awareness, “The typical American worker dramatically underestimates, or even ignores the risk of income loss that can be caused by illness or injury.”  Having the proper guidance from a qualified trusted professional is critical in making certain you are protected in the event of a disability.

The council for Disability Awareness has a web-site that you can connect with to find all kinds of information the link is http://disabilitycanhappen.org.  Take some time and check it out you will find the information is valuable.

Just as you take your profession as a medical specialist very seriously, we at Income Protection Specialist take ours seriously too.  Give us a call and let us help you get the proper coverage for your specialty.

Protect Yourself

28154966_mlJust because you are a medical professional does not mean that you are immune to disabilities.  But what is a disability for a physician or dentist?  Simply put, it is any health condition that prevents you from doing your job and earning a paycheck.  This may seem elementary but there is a major distinction for your professions. A simple hand injury or needle stick can prevent from doing your job.

Furthermore according to the Council for Disability Awareness, the top five long term disability claim categories are:

  1. musculoskeletal/connective tissue,
  2. nervous system related,
  3. cardiovascular/circulatory,
  4. cancer and neoplasms,
  5. mental disorders

In one of their blogs, the CDA goes on to state that the average claim period is between 31 and 35 months although many last a lifetime.   Given this information, why is it that so many of you forgo this protection until it is too late and the cost is too high.   Can really you afford not to be covered?

http://blog.disabilitycanhappen.org/author/council-for-disability-awareness/

Is Your Disability Coverage Really Enough?

man-questionsThe reality of having a disability in this country is far greater than death during your working years.  This is especially true for physicians and dentists when you consider that injury to a finger or thumb could result in a disability.  The fact that most medical professionals are under insured or not at all is a problem.  Some statistics indicate coverage at less than half of monthly take home.  That is financial suicide when you think of the costs involved with a disability.  Even though you are not working your bills are.  As a physician you know the importance of having the right coverage but do you have enough?

If you are employed then it might be provided as part of your compensation package in a group policy.  Most group policies fall short.  As a high income earner, if your coverage is not providing for at least 75% pf your earnings, then you need to re-evaluate your protection.  You should have individual disability coverage that protects you in your medical specialty.  Group policies are a not a substitute for a well written individual policy and should not be your sole source of protection.

Make sure you have a quality policy with a high coverage amount so that the money is there when you need it most.

For more information please contact us at www.incomeprotectionspecialist.com

 

Stacia Musleh

Breaking News: Rate Increase Coming

Iprincipal-financial-group_416x416t seems like we are having a ground shaking month in the Disability Insurance Industry.  Last week we announced The Standard was bought by a Japanese Company and now this! The rate increase in question comes from one of the industry’s leaders in disability protection for medical professionals Principal Financial Group. Here is what we know so far:

  • Currently the change will increase Anesthiologists and Emergency Medicine physicians rates
  • Anesthesia and Emergency Medicine specialists will be paying around 20% more for new policies issued in December
  • In a recent projection for one of our clients, by acting now the savings totaled in the neighborhood of $25,000 over his career
  • The rate change goes into effect November 29

In many cases Principal’s current rates tend to be among the least expensive on the market for these two medical professions. Because, time is limited to lock in the old low rates we suggest that you or anyone you know that this effects act as soon as possible. We will keep you informed as we find out more.

Kyle Musleh

 

 

The Japanese Standard

CaptureStancorp Financial Group recently entered into a buyout agreement with a Japanese insurer, Meiji Yasuda. With Meiji Yasuda ‘s purchase it will obtain the disability and life insurance brand Standard Insurance company  otherwise know as The Standard. As of right now it is unknown how the purchase of The Standard is going to effect their disability insurance business for medical professionals. We will keep our readers abreast on this topic as we learn more.

 

So you are, disabled now what?

We talk a lot of the importance of acquiring a good disability policy with all the right definitions, clauses and riders. The working relationship with your agent/ advisor but the most crucial information you need when a disability occurs, is what to do next.

Get your disability income policy out and refresh yourself on the details.  We always suggest that our clients do this at least once a year.  This way if there is something that needs to be explained, or changed you can contact your agent and inquire.  However, if it has been some time and you are now dealing with a disability give it a good read.  Familiarize yourself with some of the important points like your elimination period, the benefit period, the amount of coverage.  If your policy includes a 90 day elimination period for example we have to wait 90 days before the policy kicks in.  You still need to pay your premium during that period but it will be refunded and waived once your policy begins to pay you. The benefit period indicates how long the policy will pay for in many cases and most of ours it pays to age 65 for permanent disability.  Know your monthly benefit amount this is your paycheck while you are disabled.

The next step is to contact your agent.  Hopefully, you have enlisted the services of an independent because this is when is really counts.  If your agent is a company man/woman than most likely you will be passed to someone else within the organization who handles claims.  If you are working with an independent agency like Income Protection Specialist.com then your agent will be your liaison and begin the process of filing a claim.  He/ She will review your contract and all its provisions to make sure that you are collecting the appropriate amount allotted.

Having a disability interrupt your livelihood is no laughing matter.  Whether your disability is short or long term, you can relax knowing that your bills will be paid because you took the appropriate steps to be prepared.

 

Stacia Musleh

V.P. Sales and Marketing

Get A Second Opinion

Your patients come to you expecting quality care and expert diagnosis.  Sometimes it is necessary to encourage them to get a second opinion to put their minds at ease and or to satisfy a health insurance provider.  Either way, patients are always better served when there are no questions left unanswered.  This Professional standard of care should also be provided when you go shopping for a disability policy.  You as the consumer expect professional advice along with the best possible policy to protect you properly in your medical specialty. However, this doesn’t always happen.

Insurance is a highly competitive field and we have our fair share of unprofessional agents.  Those who are simply in it for the numbers (income) and are not concerned with the best interest of their clients.  Customer service and building an ongoing relationship is not their primary concern.  As a consumer, you should be alert and do your homework and research.*  (*Please note when investigating its important to understand the point of view and bias of the author. If the author of an article discusses only one product/company with nothing but praise, these articles are most likely commissioned by the company itself and/or an agent who works exclusively for them.)

Disability Insurance protection can provide you with a comfortable living should you need it. However,if your agent is not a true professional and either made false or incorrect statements on your application then the Insurance Carrier will deny your claim and/or cancel your policy.  This is more common than you think with no recourse against the agent. Simply put, when you sign the application you are testifying that you have read and understand the entire contract and the statements made within application are true and complete.  Basically, the agent is off the hook but you could be left filing bankruptcy if you are totally disabled.

Your family’s financial security is on the line, so it is imperative that you acquire your first or even second opinion from a reputable specialist who works for you not the insurance company!

Stacia Musleh, V.P. IncomeProtectionSpecialist.com

No Pain But lots To Gain

Is fear of Needles, or possibly a physical exam holding you back from protecting yourself against a disability? Well you can stop worrying and start celebrating. Met Life Insurance Company, has recently released a new set of underwriting standards that will allow individuals (under the age of 50) with or without a phobia of needles to apply for disability insurance without the traditional medical requirements.  Met Life calls these new standards their “Simplified Underwriting Guidelines.” In place of their old standard physical exam, Met Life is simply requiring applicants to complete a medical telephone interview with the company. This means no urine analysis or blood work, which obviously means no needles.  As always, there are some exceptions to these rules, but for the large part, you can now protect yourself and your most important asset, your income earning ability, painlessly.

The new rules apply for any individual (under 50) applying for $6500 or less for professional disability protection and up to $10,000  in Business Overhead Protection (protection that keeps bills from following business or practice owners home). More importantly because Metlife’s current initial maximum for Residents/Fellows and Dental Students is $6,000 (with the current promise up to $11,000 in the future), most residents and fellows will be eligible for these guidelines when considering personal protection.

Good information for those of you whose fear of needles has prevented you from protecting the very thing that will provide a source of income should you become disabled YOUR INCOME!

Kyle Musleh, VP IncomeProtectionSpecialist.com