Doctor’s Life Podcast Episode 030- Group Disability Insurance

You have probably been offered group disability insurance through an employer at some point in your career. There is a lot to think about with group disability insurance. Many of the factors are negative and do not benefit you at all.

With it being disability insurance season, Justin Nabity is back on The Doctor’s Life Podcast to run through the idea of group disability insurance. All episodes of The Doctor’s Life Podcast are available on iTunes, Android, and on SoundCloud. Make sure to subscribe and you will be the first to get new episodes of The Doctor’s Life Podcast.
Today we are going to talk a super glamorous topic: long term group disability insurance offered through your employer.

What is so amazing about it? Not much actually. So why should we even go over it? The reason is that most doctors have no idea what it covers and what to expect when filing a claim.

Let’s start with some basics.

First off, this kind of insurance is offered to a group. What this means is you are lumped into a category with everyone else. There is no difference between you or any of the other staff no matter how high or low on the totem pole they are. Why does this matter? The duties of your occupation are much more advanced and should be treated as such.

But does this really matter if you’ve been told that the employer’s disability is own occupation?

Yes it does because almost 100% of the time, there’s something added to the fine print. You have to be so disabled that you cannot work in any occupation. This means that if you are able to earn income from something else you will NOT receive full disability benefits. Kind of confusing isn’t it. The bottom line is that if you think the employer insurance is going to cover your specialty in a way that says you’ll receive full benefits even if you work in another occupation, you’re wrong, it doesn’t. It’s for this very reason that 80% of doctors carry their own policy separate from the employer to avoid this hassle.

What else should you know about the employer’s version of the insurance? It does not cover pre-existing conditions like you would expect health insurance to in light of the Affordable Care Act. Pre-existing conditions are one of the best ways the insurance companies never have to pay anything. Again, it’s another reason why employer insurance is not reliable.

Another big issue is the lack of portability of the insurance. Since most doctors change jobs 3-5 times throughout their careers it’s important to have something that you can count on that will go with you wherever and however you practice medicine.

Next time you get to the enrollment period to sign up for the insurance benefits at your company, you may be offered a long term disability insurance program. If you do, make sure you get a copy of the policy and read it from top to bottom. That’s the only way to make sure you know exactly what is in the contract. What you’ll conclude just like we have in almost every other benefits package we’ve reviewed in the past, the insurance is substandard at best. Having your own policy that is offered by the companies that are known for their strong definitions of disability and that you can count on them at claim time is the way to go.

As you know, this time of year is very popular for disability insurance with first timers starting their careers and practicing doctors renewing their contracts. If you’re getting ready for a transition or want to learn more about how to navigate the disability insurance world, don’t’ hesitate to contact us.

We have a team of financial advisors who don’t work for any insurance companies and are completely independent so you can get unbiased advice about what each company offers.


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